Eagles to rely on return of injured players

Updated: July 31, 2003, 10:32 AM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
After participating in the last two NFC Championship games, the Philadelphia Eagles are considered legitimate contenders to represent the conference in Super Bowl XXXVIII. But in order to reach the NFL's summit, they'll need to rely on the production of several players who missed significant time last year from serious injuries.

The first person that comes to mind is running back Correll Buckhalter. He has been thrust into the starting spot due to Duce Staley's holdout. Staley refuses to come to camp until he gets a contract extension, but considering howl long the Eagles have been trying to upgrade the position, it's unlikely they'll pay him any more money.

The Eagles were sure they had found his replacement in Buckhalter, who two years ago set an Eagles rookie rushing record with 586 yards rushing while splitting time with Staley. But he was unable to wrestle the job away from Duce because he tore his ACL early in the first minicamp last year.