Eagles' line looking thinner with possible surgery for Harris

Coming off a game in which Michael Vick was hit harder and more often than any No. 1 quarterback during the preseason should, the Philadelphia Eagles appear to have lost another offensive lineman to injury.

Citing two sources, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia reported Friday that right tackle Ryan Harris will undergo back surgery within the next week. However, Harris also told the Philadelphia Daily News on Friday that he doesn't believe surgery will be necessary.

Either way, Harris' questionable health only clouds the picture for a team looking to find stability up front.

The Eagles signed Harris on Aug. 2 after right tackle Winston Justice was unable to practice following two offseason knee surgeries. Harris quickly found himself at the top of the depth chart and was in line to start the season opener.

But Harris injured his back while blocking on a field-goal attempt during the Eagles' Aug. 12 preseason opener and hasn't been healthy since. He attempted to practice last Saturday, which was the last time he was seen on the field.

If he does go under the knife, it will be the fourth back surgery in the brief career of Harris, who was a third-round draft choice of the Denver Broncos in 2007.

Eagles coach Andy Reid has been forced to mix and match along the offensive line as injuries pile up. King Dunlap started at right tackle in Thursday's 24-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns, a game in which Vick was knocked to the ground several times. Reggie Wells and Austin Howard also are both practicing at right tackle, although Howard left Thursday's game with swelling in his knee. Fenuki Tupou, who has seen practice time at right tackle, has missed the past two weeks with a knee injury.

Given Vick's injury history and the exit of backup Kevin Kolb, the potential loss of Harris only magnifies the ongoing concerns along the Eagles' offensive line.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.