PHILADELPHIA – The injury hits keep on coming for the Eagles, with two more players suffering season-enders during Sunday’s win over the New York Giants.
The big loss is guard Brandon Brooks, who was hurt on a PAT attempt after the Eagles scored a touchdown with 1:52 left in the first half. Brooks suffered a separated right shoulder and head coach Doug Pederson said on Monday. There is more damage in that area than just a separation and Pederson said Brooks will need surgery.
The other loss is reserve defensive end Daeshon Hall, who tore his ACL on the last play of the game and lay on the field in pain as his teammates, unaware of the severity of the injury, celebrated winning the NFC East title.
There was some good news coming out of Pederson’s Monday news conference.
Running back Miles Sanders did not suffer a high ankle sprain as had originally been thought when he left Sunday in the first half. Same thing with cornerback Avonte Maddox, who got nicked in the first half, tried to play in the second half, but had to retire after playing just 26 snaps.
“Got good news on (Sanders),” said Pederson, who added his rookie runner will be day-to-day. “Same with Avonte. Physical sport, but both those guys are tough guys, should be OK.”
The Eagles will host the Seattle Seahawks in a wild-card playoff game on Sunday, and there are plenty of injuries to monitor, including existing ones to tight end Zach Ertz and right tackle Lane Johnson.
Pederson said Ertz will be monitored each day this week as he works his way through a broken rib and lacerated kidney that happened in the win over the Dallas Cowboys last week.
Johnson is expected to work his way back into practice as he recovers from a high ankle sprain that occurred in the first meeting against the Giants on Dec. 9.
Johnson and Brooks are Pro Bowl offensive linemen, so their absence is significant. Johnson’s return would certainly help, not only because he is one of the best in the NFL at his position, but because it would give the Eagles some choices to replace Brooks.
Matt Pryor, a sixth-round draft pick in 2018, filled in on Sunday, and he also took over for Brooks when Brooks’ anxiety flared up against the Seattle Seahawks in their first meeting of the season on Nov. 24. Pryor played well then and did so again against the Giants, according to Pederson.
That doesn’t mean Pryor will step in against Seattle, especially if Johnson returns because that would free up Halapoulivaati Vaitai to play in Brooks’ place. Vaitai has taken Johnson’s reps while Johnson rehabs.
“We have some options obviously,” said Pederson. “Big V (Vaitai) played in there with Lane. I thought Pryor played well, so we’re comfortable with him at guard or tackle. We’ll see how the week plays out.”
Either way, the Eagles will find it difficult to replace a player of Brooks’ caliber.
“Brandon’s a big loss,” said Pederson. “He’s an anchor on that offensive line. He’s big and physical and he’s a professional. He comes to work every day ready to go. But to Matt Pryor’s credit, he stepped in, did well in the game and we expect if he’s the guy we expect him to pick up where Brandon left off. But definitely a big loss.”