In a season filled with tough injuries, go ahead and rank this one near the top.
On Sunday afternoon, Eagles Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks suffered a shoulder injury that will require surgery, head coach Doug Pederson said. Brooks is done for the season.
Brooks, 30, separated his right shoulder during an extra point late in the second quarter of the Eagles’ NFC East-clinching 34-17 win over the Giants on Sunday. Pederson said there’s additional damage beyond a separated shoulder. Brooks was in obvious pain and was carted off the field with his right arm in a stationary position.
“Brandon’s a big loss,” Pederson said. “He’s an anchor of the 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 and did well in the game yesterday. If he’s the guy, we expect him to pick up where Brandon left off. Definitely a big loss in Brandon’s case.”
Pryor, in his second NFL season, stepped in to take the right guard spot on Sunday, but the Eagles might have a choice to make for the upcoming wild-card round playoff game against the Seahawks on Sunday afternoon.
Lane Johnson (ankle) is expected to return to practice this week and if he’s able to play, the Eagles will have their pick of Pryor or Halapoulivaati Vaitai for the right guard spot. They have both played guard before.
If Johnson can’t return this weekend, the Eagles would start Pryor at right guard and Vaitai at right tackle.
Either way, the Eagles won’t have their Pro Bowl combination of Brooks and Johnson on the right side for the rest of the season.
This is obviously a huge loss. Brooks has been the Eagles’ best and most consistent offensive lineman this season. They rewarded him last month with a four-year contract extension that made him the highest-paid guard in the NFL and will keep him in Philly through 2024.
This is the second straight year Brooks’ season ends with an injury. He tore his Achilles last January at the Superdome in New Orleans during the divisional round game and amazingly returned to start the season opener in September. He’ll have another rehab this offseason, but based on what we’ve seen, there’s a good chance he’ll come back better than ever.