Philadelphia Eagles tailback Brian Westbrook cracked a rib during Sunday's overtime triumph at Cleveland, team officials said yesterday.

Head trainer Rick Burkholder said during a news briefing that Westbrook should heal fully in four to six weeks but could play sooner. The Eagles apparently expect Westbrook, the NFC's eighth-leading rusher, to miss Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens and probably a Nov. 7 game at Pittsburgh.

The unbeaten Eagles plan to use Dorsey Levens and Reno Mahe at tailback while Westbrook, formerly of DeMatha High, is sidelined.

Green Is Back

Linebacker Barrett Green will return to the New York Giants' lineup in running situations this week, Coach Tom Coughlin said. Nick Greisen will continue to occupy the position in passing situations, according to Coughlin. Coughlin benched Green in favor of Greisen during last Sunday's loss to Detroit after Green reportedly was at least 90 minutes late to work one day during the Giants' bye week.

Foster's Block Criticized

Steelers Coach Bill Cowher said the block by Denver right tackle George Foster on Monday night that caused Cincinnati defensive tackle Tony Williams's season-ending ankle injury was legal but improper. Foster dived from the side at the lower legs of Williams.

"There are certain lines that you don't go over,'' Cowher said during a news conference Tuesday. "And I think that if you played the game long enough and have been a part of it, you recognize where they are.''

Broncos Coach Mike Shanahan defended his club's often-criticized blocking tactics yesterday by showing reporters tapes of other teams, including the Steelers, using similar techniques.

Briggs to Broncos

Denver signed Kris Briggs to take the roster spot of fellow running back Quentin Griffin, who was placed on the injured reserve list after suffering a season-ending knee injury Monday. An MRI exam confirmed Tuesday that Griffin has a torn anterior cruciate ligament. . . . The Packers signed Curtis Fuller, a reserve safety cut by the club just before the season, to take the roster spot of defensive lineman Larry Smith, who was released Tuesday. . . . Randy Moss practiced yesterday despite a strained right hamstring, but Minnesota Vikings Coach Mike Tice wouldn't say what role he would play Sunday. Moss was limited in practice and left early to get treatment for his hamstring, which he injured Oct. 17 at New Orleans. . . . Willis McGahee likely will start for Buffalo at tailback, ahead of Travis Henry.

Brian Westbrook's cracked rib should be healed in four to six weeks, but the Eagles running back could return to action sooner.