Brandon Brooks

Latest On Eagles’ Brandon Brooks

The Eagles should expect to be without Brandon Brooks for the next eight weeks. At least, that’s the timeline quoted by teammate and friend Lane Johnson (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). 

The Birds parked Brooks on the injured reserve list earlier this week following his pectoral injury. Early on, there was fear of it being a season-ending for Brooks, one of the league’s most talented offensive guards. However, it wasn’ t a complete pec tear, leaving the possibility of a return in the second half.

Brooks, of course, has been here before. The 32-year-old lost all of 2020 to a torn Achilles, leaving the Eagles to scramble for solutions up front. He also had Achilles and shoulder tears in the past. When healthy, he’s a standout. Brooks made the Pro Bowl every year from 2017-2019, showing why he’s worth his current four-year, $54.2MM deal.

The Eagles turned to rookie Landon Dickerson in Brooks’ stead, but they could pivot to the more experienced Nate Herbig. They also have a newcomer, Jack Anderson, to provide depth. Still, Johnson knows that no one else can be a one-for-one replacement for Brooks.

Brooks has been one of the best right guards in the league for a long time,” Johnson said (via the Philadelphia Inquirer). “Tremendous loss for us. Having him out there, might’ve been the difference between us winning and losing.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles To Place Brandon Brooks On IR

Eagles guard Brandon Brooks has been diagnosed with a pec strain, per head coach Nick Sirianni (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). As a result, Brooks will miss several weeks as the Eagles move him to injured reserve. 

[RELATED: Eagles Place TE Zach Ertz On COVID-19 List]

On the plus side, it’s not a full-on tear — that would have been a sure season-ender for the interior lineman. Brooks lost the 2020 season to a torn Achilles, but he’s performed as one of the league’s better interior lineman when healthy. He made the Pro Bowl every year from 2017-2019, despite a previous (separate) Achilles tear and a shoulder injury. All in all, he’s lived up to the lofty expectations set by his initial five-year, $62.5MM deal – at least, when he’s on the field. The Eagles still have him for a few more seasons, thanks to his four-year, $54.2MM re-up in late 2019.

The Eagles will keep their fingers crossed for a quick recovery. Last summer, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave managed to return after just five weeks with a similar injury. For now, they’re down a key lineman as they get set for Dallas.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Torn Achilles For Eagles’ Brandon Graham?

The Eagles believe that defensive end Brandon Graham has suffered a torn Achilles (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). He’ll undergo additional testing tomorrow to confirm, but team doctors are pretty sure about this one.

Graham was forced out of Sunday’s game against the Niners and the Eagles went on to lose 17-11. Even though they can turn to accomplished veteran Ryan Kerrigan and Josh Sweat, it’s still a bad blow to the Eagles’ pass rush.

Terrible. He’s one of the best humans, best guys I’ve played with. He’s the heartbeat of this team,” longtime teammate Lane Johnson said (Twitter link via Josh Tolentino of the Philadelphia Inquirer).

Graham, who’s been with the Eagles since 2010, inked a three-year, $40MM extension with the Birds in 2019. He delivered some of his best work last year, notching eight sacks and 46 stops en route to his first — and long overdue — Pro Bowl nod. Unfortunately, his Achilles tear will effectively wipe out his 2021 season. And, after this year, he’ll be out of contract.

The Eagles are also awaiting word on Brandon Brooks‘ chest injury. The early word is that it’s a torn pec (Twitter link via RapSheet), but the guard’s availability will hinge on the severity of the tear. If it’s only a partial tear, the Eagles could see him back on the field before the season is through.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Joseph, Eagles, Bengals

Karl Joseph is back with the Raiders. The safety agreed to a deal earlier this week to return to the team that drafted him in the first-round back in 2016, and as he tells it, he never wanted to leave. “I never wanted to leave,” Joseph said, via Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review Journal. “This is my home. I was drafted here. I feel like I was born to be a Raider.” Joseph would’ve still been a Raider in 2020 if the team hadn’t declined his fifth-year option.

Instead, he ended up signing a one-year contract with the Browns. Clearly there were no hard feelings about the option getting declined, because he’s back with Jon Gruden now. “It felt like the right decision was to come back and help finish what I started here and be a part of that,” he explained. “All the pieces are there,” Joseph raved. “I think we’re ready to win. So whatever I’m going to need to do to help us win, that’s what I am going to do.” We still haven’t gotten the financial terms on Joseph’s new Raiders deal, so those will be interesting to see.

Here’s more from around the league on a quiet Sunday night:

  • Two members of the Eagles’ offensive line seem to be progressing well from major injuries. Tackle Lane Johnson had ankle surgery in December, and is apparently almost back to full strength. “Going good. Still in rehab,” Johnson said, via John McMullen of SI.com. “I’m running, moving around well so probably a month out from being cleared fully.” Johnson made three straight Pro Bowls from 2017-19, and his absence was sorely felt last year. Guard Brandon Brooks, also a Pro Bowler from 17-19, missed all of 2020 with a torn Achilles, and Johnson said he’s making good progress as well. “I know he’s excited coming off that injury last year,” Johnson explained of his line-mate. “As far as being cooped up and ready to go, man, he’s a ball of energy.” Whether it’s Jalen Hurts or someone else under center, the Eagles’ pass protection should be a lot better than it was in 2020.
  • The Bengals are bringing back a familiar face, but not a player. The team is hiring Louie Cioffi as a defensive quality control coach, via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com. That’s significant since Cioffi was in the building as a defensive assistant and defensive backs coach from 1997-2010. His tenure with the team preceded that of even Marvin Lewis, and continued through much of Lewis’ time there. He’s been a DBs coach for numerous teams around the NFL since leaving the Bengals, and is one of few people who can say they spent time in both the recent ill-fated spring leagues, the AAF and XFL.

Eagles Discussing Brandon Brooks Trade

Zach Ertz isn’t the only Eagles player potentially on the move. The Birds have also been discussing potential trades involving Brandon Brooks as of late, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. 

[RELATED: Eagles To Trade Ertz Soon?]

Brooks lost the 2020 season to a torn Achilles, his latest in a string of injuries. Still, he was considered one of the league’s better interior lineman when healthy. Brooks made the Pro Bowl every year from 2017-2019, despite a previous Achilles tear and a shoulder shoulder injury. All in all, he lived up to the lofty expectations set by his initial five-year, $62.5MM deal. That prompted the Eagles to lock him up with a four-year, $54.2MM pact in late 2019.

At the time of signing, the deal made Brooks the second-highest-paid guard in the game, with his $13.6MM AAV only trailing Zack Martin‘s $14MM/year. Now, as the Eagles look to remake their roster and trim salary, they’re willing to listen on offers. Brooks, who was able to practice before the end of the season, can be controlled through 2023 for a total of ~$53MM. This year, he’s on the books for a reasonable $10.5MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Place Brandon Brooks On PUP List, Trim Roster To 53

The Eagles made a sizable amount of cuts Thursday. They made the rest of their moves to get down to 53 players Saturday. Here are the players the Eagles jettisoned to reach the regular-season limit.

Waived:

Placed on active/PUP list:

The Brooks decision certainly is interesting, especially after the team placed left tackle Andre Dillard on season-ending IR this week. Brooks suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in June, but the elite blocker has a history of surmounting such an injury. Brooks tore an Achilles in January 2019 and made it back in time for Philadelphia’s opener last season. The team is not ready to shut down its Pro Bowl guard for the season.

Alshon Jeffery also did not land on Philadelphia’s reserve/PUP list, which would have shelved the veteran wideout for six games. Instead, Jeffery — whom the Eagles have attempted to trade for months — is one of seven receivers on the Eagles’ 53-man roster. That will help a team that saw Marquise Goodwin opt out and first-round rookie Jalen Reagor suffer an injury that will keep him out to start the season.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Washington, Staff, Vander Esch

While the Eagles are not officially holding out hope Brandon Brooks can return late in the 2020 season, they have not shut that prospect down. They placed the Pro Bowl guard on the PUP list, rather than injured reserve. Lane Johnson said his longtime teammate is ahead of schedule and can see him returning from his latest Achilles tear before the season ends, Tim McManus of ESPN.com tweets. Brooks recovered from a January 2019 Achilles tear to return in time for Week 1 last season. Following the same timetable, Brooks could conceivably be in play for a late-December or January re-emergence. As players like Terrell Suggs and Michael Crabtree showed during the 2010s, an offseason Achilles tear is not an automatic season-ender. Of course, Brooks is carrying a bit more weight and suffered his injury later in the offseason. Longtime Eagles left tackle Jason Peters is currently manning Brooks’ right guard position.

As the NFC East teams begin their padded training camp practices, here is the latest from the division:

  • Doug Pederson is back at work after contracting COVID-19. The fifth-year Eagles HC was the third known coach to test positive for the coronavirus, following Sean Payton and Anthony Lynn. Unlike the Saints and Chargers coaches, Pederson, 52, was asymptomatic.
  • Leighton Vander Esch has been playing a new position at Cowboys camp. The third-year linebacker has swapped spots with Jaylon Smith, with Vander Esch now playing middle linebacker and Smith shifting to the weak side, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes. Both players are set to reprise their roles as Dallas’ three-down ‘backers. The Cowboys changed defensive coordinators this offseason, moving from Rod Marinelli to Mike Nolan. Vander Esch is returning from offseason neck surgery.
  • Washington made a historic business-side hire, naming Jason Wright as team president. A former linebacker who played seven seasons with the Falcons, Browns and Cardinals, Wright is the NFL’s first Black team president and the fourth former player to be named to such a post. While the 38-year-old exec will succeed Bruce Allen, his responsibilities will be exclusively on the business side, John Keim of ESPN.com notes. Washington remains without a nominal GM.
  • The Cowboys will have a new voice in their quarterbacks room, at least for training camp. Seneca Wallace is working with Dallas’ QBs as a training camp staffer, Jon Machota of The Athletic tweets. Wallace joins fellow recent NFL passers Kellen Moore and Scott Tolzien on the Cowboys’ staff. Like Tolzien, Wallace spent time in Green Bay during Mike McCarthy‘s run.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/4/20

Here are today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Miami Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles To Replace Brandon Brooks Internally?

After losing Brandon Brooks for the year, many have been quick to connect the dots between the Eagles and old friend Jason Peters. A reunion certainly seems possible, but head coach Doug Pederson says he’ll take a good look at his in-house options first. 

[RELATED: Eagles’ Brandon Brooks Done For Year]

My heart sunk when I got the news,” Pederson said (Twitter link via John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia). “We are still looking at a lot of options. Starting with our own roster. We’ve got some time before training camp.”

Since joining the Eagles, Brooks has blossomed into one of the game’s best guards. Despite the bad luck with injuries – two Achilles and one shoulder tear – he’s managed to make the last three Pro Bowls. He lived up to the lofty expectations set by his initial five-year, $62.5MM deal, prompting the team to lock him up with a four-year, $54.2MM pact late last year. At the time of signing, the deal made Brooks the second-highest-paid guard in the game, with his $13.6MM AAV only trailing Zack Martin‘s $14MM/year.

Peters, meanwhile, stands as the best available offensive lineman left, and one of the best free agents left on the market, period. His age (38) has hindered his market, but he turned in yet another solid season in 2019. Peters has said that he’s willing to play on the left or the right side, so it stands to reason that he could be talked into moving inside.

Larry Warford would represent a less flashy option, but he still offers ample starting experience. And, for what it’s worth, he’s a whole lot younger – Warford will turn 29 later this week. The Eagles’ tight cap situation for 2021 would make a multi-year deal tricky, but Warford might be willing to accept a one-season prove-it deal at this stage of the offseason.

Internally, the options are somewhat limited. Matt Pryor, who has experience at guard and tackle in the Eagles’ system, would be the favorite to fill in. There’s also fourth-round rookie tackle Jack Driscoll, who has taken some snaps on the inside.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles’ Brandon Brooks Done For Year

Guard Brandon Brooks suffered a torn Achilles tendon while working out at the Eagles’ facility. Brooks personally confirmed the news in a tweet on Monday night, vowing to come back “and better than ever.” 

Unfortunately, Brooks has been here before. In January of last year, Brooks tore his right Achilles. This time, it’s the left one. His previous tear came in the 2018 playoffs, giving him enough time to recover before the start of the season. He managed to play in all 16 games for the Eagles in 2019, providing much-needed consistency for an offense that desperately needed it. Then, right when the Eagles clinched the NFC East title, they lost Brooks all over again, thanks to a shoulder injury.

Brooks joined the Eagles in 2016 as a free agent, following his time with the Texans. Since then, he’s performed as one of the best interior linemen in the league. With the Birds, Brooks has started in 62 games, plus five postseason contests.

The 30-year-old (31 in August) will be under contract with the team for years to come, thanks to his recent four-year, $54MM+ extension. The Eagles can expect more good work between 2021 and 2024, but they’ve got a major hole to fill this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.