QB injures ribs on questionable play

Updated: January 18, 2004, 9:33 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb left Sunday's NFC championship game with injured ribs.

McNabb sat out one play in the second quarter, then was replaced again in the fourth quarter after absorbing another hit.

He was initially hurt after he tumbled backward to the turf on a sack by Carolina Panthers lineman Mike Rucker. Linebacker Greg Favors, unsure if the play was over, then jumped on McNabb and sent him into an awkward roll, bending McNabb's left leg into the quarterback's chest.

McNabb walked off the field under his own power, holding his rib cage with his left hand. Koy Detmer entered and completed a screen pass for minus-3 yards before McNabb returned to huge cheers.

But he left the game again after he was driven into the ground by blitzing safety Jarrod Cooper on the Eagles' final play of the third quarter. McNabb slowly walked off the field, again clutching his ribs.

McNabb was 10-for-22 for 100 yards when he left the second time.

At the time of the first injury, McNabb was 6-for-10 for 58 yards. On his first play back, he completed a 10-yard pass to Freddie Mitchell to set up a field goal, but he was later intercepted three times by Panthers rookie Ricky Manning.

McNabb also was sacked four times in the first half. He was sacked eight times last week by Green Bay.

McNabb was late coming out of the tunnel at halftime. Detmer was warming up on the sidelines just before kickoff, but McNabb entered on Philadelphia's first drive of the second half.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press