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Eagles reshuffle LBs for sixth time this season because of injuries

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles will go with a different look at linebacker for the second consecutive week because of weakside starter Akeem Jordan's knee injury.

Will Witherspoon again will start at weakside linebacker, and second-year pro Joe Mays will start in the middle. Chris Gocong, who started in the middle during last weekend's loss to the San Diego Chargers, will move back to his customary spot on the strong side. Rookie Moise Fokou, who started the past two games on the strong side, appears to be the odd man out.

It's the sixth different set of linebackers that the Eagles will start in their 10th game of the season.

"A lot will depend on the personnel group (the Bears) put out there," Reid said. "We have some different combinations we can use."

Mays became the starting middle linebacker in training camp when Stewart Bradley went out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. However, Mays didn't play well enough to keep the job when the season opened and lost it to Omar Gaither, who eventually joined Bradley on injured reserve with a foot injury.

"He's been working out there a little bit," Reid said of Mays. "He worked a little bit last week, too. Like I said, there are different combinations we can use."

Mays, a second-year linebacker from North Dakota State, was inactive for five of the Eagles' first six games. He played the past three games, primarily on special teams, and did well on the kick teams last week in San Diego.

"It's all come around," Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown said. "I think it might be a good thing. You have Will playing will (weakside), which is his natural position. You have a guy in the middle who is a middle linebacker, and Chris is back on the strong side where he is used to playing."

Brown is accustomed to starting at cornerback. Since he was drafted in 2002, he has played in all 121 regular-season games, plus another 12 playoff games. This week, he is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury that he suffered in San Diego.

"If I don't play, it won't be my choice," Brown said. "I don't know what the percentages are, but I feel like I'm going to play."

Brown did limited work Thursday and Friday in practice. Reid said Brown's status will be a game-time decision.

"We'll see how it goes there," Reid said. "We'll just see how he does. He moved around pretty good today when he was in the team period. He took all the scout-team reps yesterday and felt pretty good coming out of it. We'll see how that works out."

Notes: Reid also said WR Kevin Curtis (knee), S Quintin Demps (ankle) and RB Brian Westbrook (concussion) are out for Sunday's game. Curtis will miss his eighth consecutive game, and Reid said the receiver is still weeks away from returning to the team. ... Rookie Victor Harris will replace Demps on kickoff returns.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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