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Eagles may bring in Davis to bolster RBs

PHILADELPHIA (Aug. 21, 2006) -- Stephen Davis might not be unemployed much longer.

The Philadelphia Eagles brought the four-time 1,000-yard rusher in for a physical and interview to see if the 32-year-old Davis and his creaky knees can bolster an undersized running game hit with injury and inconsistency.

"He's been very productive in this league," coach Andy Reid said. "We just want to investigate it."

Davis was released by Carolina in March after finishing the season on injured reserve with knee injuries that affected his final two seasons with the Panthers. He missed all but two games in 2004 with microfracture surgery, and lost his starting spot last season to DeShaun Foster.

But the 6-foot, 230-pound Davis wouldn't need to carry the load in Philadelphia. If he has anything left on those legs, he would add the size the Eagles desperately need in the backfield and fill a power back role held by veteran Dorsey Levens on the 2004 NFC title team.

"If that was to happen I think it would be a bonus for us on the offensive side," quarterback Donovan McNabb said.

The Eagles could use the help in the backfield. Starter Brian Westbrook remains sidelined after he sprained his left foot in the preseason opener and is unlikely to return until the regular season.

With Westbrook out, the Eagles have been forced to turn to Ryan Moats and Reno Mahe as their top options, with the oft-injured Correll Buckhalter also in the mix. Bruce Perry has been a big training camp disappointment and didn't even get a carry in a preseason game at Baltimore.

Marty Johnson has been a pleasant surprise, but is a longshot to make the roster.

All of them have their baggage. Moats sprained his knee in camp and lost a fumble against the Ravens in his first preseason game. Moats said he wasn't going to let news of Davis' possible arrival distract him, and said he's bounced back from his injury.

"It put me behind mentally a little bit, but I'm getting back on top of it," he said.

Buckhalter sat out three of the last four seasons with knee injuries, though he also claims to have put them behind him. He was all smiles after running 48 yards on a shovel pass for a touchdown last week, but his fragile history suggests the Eagles can't necessarily count on him.

Reid said the Eagles planned to bring in Davis, who ran for 549 yards on 180 carries and 12 touchdowns last season, for a physical and workout since the start of training camp.

Davis' last great season came in 2003 when he rushed for 1,444 yards. He spent the first seven seasons of his 10-year career with Washington, rushing for over 1,300 yards in three straight seasons and scoring 17 touchdowns in 1999.

Davis has 7,875 yards rushing and 65 rushing touchdowns in his career.

"I think when it comes down to it, you talk about a guy that has been in the league for 10 years or so, he knows what to do, he knows how to win, he has been on successful teams and I think he can help us out," McNabb said.

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