Quarterback Donovan McNabb sat out the Philadelphia Eagles' practice today after suffering a bruised chest in Monday night's season-opening loss at Atlanta, but vowed to play in Sunday's home opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

"Nothing will stop me from being on that field," McNabb said in a news conference.

It has been one thing after another for the Eagles since they lost the Super Bowl in February. This week's drama is the health of quarterback McNabb, who underwent an X-ray after the game and had an MRI exam and a CT scan Tuesday. Coach Andy Reid indicated he'd be cautious because the injury was to McNabb's chest.

McNabb was hurt on a hit by Falcons defensive tackle Chad Lavalais just after releasing a deep pass toward wide receiver Terrell Owens that was intercepted by Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall. McNabb got up slowly and took off his shoulder pads on the sideline to be examined by trainer Rick Burkholder, and it briefly appeared that backup Koy Detmer would enter the game. But McNabb returned without missing a snap and finished the game.

"We knew he was hurt, but it was not nearly as bad [Monday] night when he was playing as it was when he woke up [Tuesday] morning," Reid said Tuesday. "It stiffened up on him. He felt comfortable playing."

McNabb threw for 257 yards and a touchdown in the 14-10 loss to the Falcons. But he committed three turnovers, losing two fumbles (one on an ill-advised backward throw on a would-be screen pass to tailback Brian Westbrook) and throwing an interception. He missed some throws at crucial moments and was reluctant to take off from the pocket and run with the ball.

The Eagles find themselves at least temporarily in last place in the NFC East, a division they have won four straight seasons. They are trying to avoid becoming the fifth straight Super Bowl loser to have a losing record the following season.

Their turbulent offseason included Owens criticizing McNabb's Super Bowl performance amid his bitter contract dispute with the Eagles. Defensive end Jerome McDougle was shot in the stomach by armed robbers in Miami just before training camp and is still weeks away from playing. Westbrook held out from training camp for a week, and defensive tackle Corey Simon was cut loose (and signed with the Indianapolis Colts) when the team removed its franchise-player tag from him after he refused to report to camp. On Monday, the Eagles lost perhaps their most important defensive player -- middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter -- when he was ejected from the game for a scuffle with Falcons reserve cornerback Kevin Mathis during warmups.

It seems likely that McNabb will play against the 49ers, but Reid said the team won't take chances with the quarterback's health. Reid declined to say whether Detmer or Mike McMahon, the former part-time starter in Detroit who was signed as a free agent in the offseason, would start if McNabb is unable to play. They split the work during Wednesday's practice. . . .

Eagles safety Brian Dawkins slightly sprained his ankle Monday. . . . The Eagles were one of eight playoff teams from last season -- along with the Rams, Packers, Vikings, Seahawks, Chargers, Broncos and Jets -- to lose their openers. . . . Trotter and Mathis likely will be fined $10,000 apiece by the league. That's the amount that Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter and Cleveland running back William Green were fined for being ejected from a game last season following their pregame scuffle.

Practice-Field Change for Saints

Change has become a constant for the New Orleans Saints, and they might switch their practice venue in San Antonio by the end of the week. The Alamodome should be ready to host the team's practices beginning Friday or Saturday. The Saints have been using the locker rooms at the Alamodome but then driving a few miles along the highway to a high school sports complex to practice. . . .

The league is working on trying to figure out a policy for televising Saints games in San Antonio. The city is part of the Dallas Cowboys' market, but the league is attempting to get Saints games televised there now that the team is based there and is playing three home games at the Alamodome this season. A San Antonio radio station plans to broadcast Saints games all season. . . .

The Saints' first "home" game of the season comes Monday evening in Giants Stadium against the New York Giants. The Saints will wear their home black uniforms while the Giants wear their road white jerseys. One end zone will be painted Saints colors and some Saints signs will adorn the stadium. All of that is unlikely to make the Saints forget, however, that Commissioner Paul Tagliabue ordered the game to be moved to their opponent's home stadium. . . .

The Saints announced Tuesday that ticket-holders for games at the Superdome this season can receive refunds or apply credits toward ticket purchases for games in San Antonio or Baton Rouge this season or toward ticket purchases next season. . . .

Green Bay is moving Robert Ferguson into its starting lineup at the wide receiver spot opposite Donald Driver to replace the injured Javon Walker, who suffered a season-ending knee injury during the Packers' opening loss to Detroit.

Lions Audition Kickers

Free-agent kickers Wade Richey and Remy Hamilton worked out for the Lions on Tuesday, but neither was immediately signed by the club. The Lions might need to sign a fill-in kicker this week with Jason Hanson bothered by a strained hamstring muscle{lcub}hellip{rcub}.

Chicago signed one offensive tackle, John St. Clair, and waived another, Marc Colombo. . . .

Tennessee released Todd Williams to create roster room for fellow offensive tackle Brad Hopkins, who was reinstated from the suspended list. . . .

Seattle signed defensive end Ronald Bailey and released wide receiver Jerheme Urban. . . .

Pittsburgh released rookie wide receiver Nate Washington to clear a roster spot for No. 3 quarterback Charlie Batch, who was re-signed after being released over the weekend to create a needed roster spot. . . .

Steelers tailback Duce Staley, working his way back from preseason knee surgery, could be available for Sunday's game at Houston. Jerome Bettis probably will be sidelined another week by his calf injury. With Staley and Bettis both on the inactive list, Willie Parker ran for 161 yards in his first NFL start in Sunday's triumph over the Titans. . . .

With Parker running wild, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw only 11 passes against the Titans. But he made the most of them, with nine completions for 218 yards and two touchdowns and a perfect passer rating of 158.3. . . .

The Steelers have suffered Week 2 losses the previous three seasons. . . .

Second-year pro Jordan Carstens take over at defensive tackle in Carolina for Kris Jenkins, who suffered a season-ending knee injury during Sunday's loss to the Saints. . . .

The Panthers were thrilled when they were able to get Georgia's Thomas Davis with the 14th overall pick in the NFL draft in April, thinking he would be an immediate contributor to their defense. But Davis is experiencing more difficulty than expected in making the transition to the NFL.

After being switched back and forth between safety and linebacker before the season, Davis settled in at safety. But he struggled so much in pass coverage Sunday, being beaten repeatedly by Saints tight end Ernie Conwell, that the Panthers coaches turned to Marlon McCree in the second half. The Panthers host the New England Patriots this weekend, and the Patriots have two effective tight ends -- Ben Watson and Daniel Graham -- to use to attack Davis if he's on the field. . . .

It was a big surprise around the league when the Patriots used the final choice of the first round of the draft on Fresno State offensive lineman Logan Mankins. Few other teams had Mankins high on their draft boards, and perhaps no other club had him rated as a first-rounder. But the Patriots, as usual, are turning out to be smarter than everyone else. Mankins has settled in as a starting guard, and had a fine performance against Warren Sapp over the Oakland Raiders in the NFL's season-opening game Thursday. . . .

Rams President John Shaw told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that one of the team's executives would be disciplined for leaving a threatening phone message on the voice mail of one of the newspaper's columnists.

After columnist Bernie Miklasz wrote that Coach Mike Martz deserved support instead of back-stabbing from members of the club's front office, Samir Suleiman, the Rams' director of football administration, reportedly left a message for Miklasz in which he said to "tell your source that I'm not a back-stabber. I'm a . . . throat-slasher, and he'll know the difference before it's all said and done."

Shaw declined to tell the paper what disciplinary action would be taken.