Posted: Friday November 26, 2010 5:16PM ; Updated: Friday November 26, 2010 5:16PM

Eagles CB Samuel questionable for Bears game

Story Highlights

Asante Samuel is listed as questionable for the Eagles' matchup against the Bears

Samuel would draw Andre Johnson Thursday when the Eagles take on the Texans

If Samuel doesn't play, nickleback Joselio Hanson would likely start in his place

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Asante-Samuel.jpg
Asante Samuel injured his MCL on an interception return against the Giants last Sunday.
Hunter Martin/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA(AP) Andy Reid wouldn't say it, couldn't say it really.

With Philadelphia confronting two games in the span of five days, one against a top 10 offense and one of the best wide receivers in the game in Andre Johnson and another against an offense ranked 30th, it might make sense to rest cornerback Asante Samuel and his aching knee Sunday when the Eagles (7-3) visit the Chicago Bears (7-3).

And while that's still what Reid may do, he isn't about to tell anyone. For now, he's listed as questionable ... and that's it.

"He's doing better," Reid said. "He's feeling a little bit better. He's still not 100 percent, so that's why we listed him where we listed him. But we'll just see how he does here."

Samuel, the Eagles All-Pro cornerback, missed his third and final day of practice on Friday. Nickel back Joselio Hanson would start in his place, and rookie Trevard Lindley would assume Hanson's role as the No. 3.

Two other defensive starters, end Juqua Parker (hip) and tackle Antonio Dixon (abdominal strain) also missed practice and are listed as questionable for the Bears.

Samuel - who would likely draw Johnson on Thursday, when the Eagles meet the Texans (4-6) - injured the MCL in his knee on an interception return last Sunday against the Giants. He fumbled, after he was hit.

"I didn't feel anything at first, but I was on pain killers," Samuel said Thursday. "The next day, it started to hurt. I couldn't really walk."

Samuel missed one game this year with a concussion against San Francisco, and its 25th-ranked offense. The Eagles got by in that one, 27-24, as Lindley intercepted 49ers quarterback Alex Smith to seal the win.

Chicago's offense comes in ranked even lower and its top receiver Johnny Knox ranks 50th in the league with 37 receptions.

But on Thursday, the Eagles will face the Texans and Johnson, one of the more feared receivers in the league. His numbers - 56 receptions for 813 yards - are a little off this season, but the big-play capability is always there.

Reid, however, said that wasn't a factor. Of course, he had to say that.

"You can't do that," Reid said. "I know what you're saying. But this is a good football team we're playing. I have a lot of trust in the guys that would step in for them, if needed. But at the same time, it's that time of year where if you can go, you go, and as long as you're safe there."

Hanson, who has made himself a career as a third corner, has started 15 games in six years, including three this season. He's ready to go, if Samuel cannot play.

"Every game I play, I prepare as if I'm going to start because you're only a play away," Hanson said. "So, I'm prepared either way this week. I don't just prepare as if I'm going to be the nickel. I prepare to play."

Hanson has done his homework on the Bears. He'll likely see a lot Knox and some Devin Hester, as well.

"They have a lot of speed outside," Hanson said. "You have to get up and challenge them. You can't sit back on those guys, or they'll hurt you. They'll take some chances in the passing game and you have to be ready. One guy (Washington's DeAngelo Hall) had four interceptions in a game against them. Hopefully, I can have a game like that."

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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