Runyan seeks clearance to play

Updated: August 9, 2009, 4:53 PM ET
By Sal Paolantonio | ESPN.com

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Former Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Jon Runyan said on Sunday that he is flying to Alabama on Monday to get medical clearance from his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, to begin running on his surgically repaired right knee -- with the hopes of working out for an NFL team within the next week or two.

Runyan
Runyan

"My goal all along has been to play this season, and we've had this date in mind as when I could begin running so hopefully I will get clearance from Dr. Andrews," said Runyan, who had microfracture surgery in February to repair the cartilage in his right knee.

Eagles head coach Andy Reid did not rule out Runyan's return.

"I know where he's at," Reid said after Sunday morning's practice. Reid said he talked to Runyan at the funeral service for former defensive coordinator Jim Johnson on Friday. "We have a pretty good idea of where he's at and we'll just see how things go. He's working hard at getting back and that's really what his primary focus should be, whether it's here or somewhere else."

Philadelphia has been dealing with a series of injury setbacks on the offensive line. Stacy Andrews, who was originally signed to replace Runyan in the offseason, and was initially slated to play right tackle, has now been penciled in as the starting right guard. He is coming back from knee surgery of his own and has yet to participate in full contract drills at Eagles training camp. He is unlikely to play in the team's first preseason game on Thursday night against the Patriots.

His brother, Shawn Andrews, now listed on the depth chart as the right tackle but has played guard for most of his Eagles career, has been sidelined most of training camp with nagging back pain -- after missing most of last season after back surgery. He likely won't play Thursday night either.

"I hope I can start running as soon as I get back, do some of that repetitive motion on my knee and see how it responds and get myself in a position to work for a team," said Runyan, who said he has been talking to "a number of teams," including the Eagles.

Before being released by the Eagles, Runyan started in 192 straight regular-season games.

Sal Paolantonio covers the NFL for ESPN.

Sal Paolantonio

SportsCenter correspondent / NFL reporter
Sal Paolantonio joined ESPN as a SportsCenter correspondent in August 1995, primarily reporting on the NFL. Beginning in 2004, he also served as host of NFL Match-Up, a weekly "Xs and Os" football show produced by NFL Films.