McNabb says he'll start on Sunday

By DAN GELSTON, AP Sports Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Donovan McNabb is ready to pull on the No. 5 gameday jersey, take the snap, drop back and throw the ball downfield.

McNabb plans to start when Philadelphia plays Tampa Bay on Sunday, his first action since breaking his rib in the season opener. McNabb still feels some discomfort and needs a protective jacket to absorb punishing hits.

"You're talking about one of the all-time greats playing quarterback," Eagles coach Andy Reid said Wednesday. "Somebody who has been here a long time and when it's all said and done will be one of all-time greatest to play that position. It's always good to get that kind of a player back in there."

This time, McNabb will have Michael Vick to help out.

McNabb hasn't played since he took a hard shot in the end zone after a rushing touchdown Sept. 13 in a win over the Carolina Panthers. He missed two games before the Eagles (2-1) had their bye this past weekend.

"The bye week came at the right time and gave me an opportunity to get back out there this week," McNabb said.

He practiced on Wednesday and should have his familiar, and banged-up running back behind him. Reid said Brian Westbrook also should be able to play on Sunday. Westbrook, who practiced Wednesday, sat out the Eagles' last game with a knee injury.

McNabb still feels some discomfort when he laughs, coughs or sleeps on his side. Extended periods of sitting and standing are also uncomfortable for the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback, who doesn't expect to be fully recovered for another two to four weeks.

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