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McNabb to start behind center on Thanksgiving

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Donovan McNabb's benching did not last long, as he will return to the starting quarterback role for the Philadelphia Eagles when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Thanksgiving night.

McNabb was benched at the start of the second half in Sunday's 36-7 loss at Baltimore. The Eagles were trailing 10-7 at the time, but had not scored an offensive touchdown and McNabb had turned the ball over three times with a pair of interceptions and a fumble.

Eagles head coach Andy Reid made the decision to start Kevin Kolb in the second half of Sunday's game, but on Monday said he was confident McNabb would bounce back.

"Donovan's the quarterback for this football team," Reid emphatically stated moments before leaving a Monday press conference in which every question dealt with McNabb's status and Sunday's decision.

McNabb completed a mere 8-of-18 passes for 59 yards on Sunday, a week after a poor performance in Philadelphia's 13-13 tie with Cincinnati. Against the Bengals, he connected on 28-of-58 throws with one touchdown and three interceptions.

"I think I know Donovan McNabb better than anybody in this room," Reid stated. "Six turnovers [in two games] is not Donovan McNabb. He'll work through this. I have confidence that he'll work through this.

"He's my starting quarterback. If I felt different, I'd start the other guy."

Kolb did not fare much better on Sunday against the stout Baltimore defense, completing 10-of-23 passes for 73 yards and two interceptions -- one of which Ed Reed returned an NFL-record 108-yard touchdown.

"This has nothing to do with Kevin Kolb's performance or Donovan's performance," Reid said of his decision to start McNabb against the Cardinals. "I think it was the right thing to do."

Reid, when pressed why he chose to sit McNabb on Sunday, also said it was the right thing to do at the time.

"Sometimes it's good to step back and look at things from a little different angle," Reid remarked. "I expect him to go out [Thursday] and play his heart out."

Sunday's loss left the Eagles last in the competitive NFC East with a 5-5-1 record.

The Eagles have not made the postseason with McNabb, who turns 32 on Tuesday, under center since a Super Bowl appearance in 2004 -- a 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots. Jeff Garcia filled in for an injured McNabb in 2006 and finished the regular season with five consecutive wins to bring Philadelphia to the playoffs.

Philadelphia finished last season 8-8.

11/24 12:26:47 ET