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Shawn Andrews says he'll be ready to play opener

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Shawn Andrews says his injured back is improving and he expects to play the team's season opener.

Andrews, who underwent back surgery last season, hasn't practiced since the first day of training camp when he re-injured his back. Eagles coach Andy Reid said Saturday he was prepared to start the year without Andrews, a two-time Pro Bowl right guard who is moving to right tackle this season.

Andrews tested his back on Sunday by running 14 40-yard sprints. He says he's making progress and he wants to play football, despite suggestions by critics that he's lost his desire.

The Eagles open the season on Sept. 13 at Carolina.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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