Eagles tight end Smith active vs. Packers

PHILADELPHIA -- Tight end L.J. Smith was downgraded to questionable following the Eagles' walkthrough Saturday, but the team activated him for Philadelphia's opener at Green Bay on Sunday.

Smith had been bothered by a groin injury that forced him to sit out all the preseason games and kept him off the field most of training camp. He practiced this week and had been listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Packers.

If Smith can't play, veteran Matt Schobel and rookie Brent Celek would fill in. Celek, a fifth-round pick, led the team with 13 receptions for 143 yards in the preseason. Schobel had five catches for 103 yards.

"I'm working hard to get back on the field, but your body is going to tell you when it's ready," Smith said after Friday's practice. "If I can't go out there and be efficient when I'm out there then what's the point of going out there."

Smith had surgery for a sports hernia on May 31, then injured his groin early in camp. It's an important season for Smith, who enters the final year of a contract. He caught 50 passes for 611 yards and five touchdowns last year.

While Smith's status is uncertain, the offense should get All-Pro guard Shawn Andrews back after he missed the entire preseason with an ankle injury. And, quarterback Donovan McNabb will start his first regular-season game since tearing a knee ligament in Week 11 last year. A.J. Feeley is expected to be the backup, despite having surgery on his hand last week.

On the other side, defensive end Jevon Kearse was hampered by a shoulder injury during the week, but is expected to see his first action in a meaningful game since going down with a knee injury in Week 2 last year.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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