From the couch the to field, Joseph and Suh shine in win


INDIANAPOLIS —  This time last week, Linval Joseph was in Minnesota. Ndamukong Suh was in Tampa.

And they were watching football on TV.

But on Sunday afternoon, just days after they each signed with the Eagles, Joseph and Suh played significant snaps and made a huge impact in the 17-16 win over the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“I promise you, I’ve been dreaming about this moment,” Joseph said. “Getting the opportunity to come to a team, be a spark plug and helping a team win. Everything that happened today, I promise you I had a dream about it. To come out and dream about it, envision it and really go through it, God is good.”

Joseph ended up playing 26 plays (40%) and Suh played 17 (26%). Joseph even started at nose tackle.

That’s a ton for guys who just got here, especially in their 13th NFL seasons. Joseph, 34, had just two practice days with the Eagles and Suh, 35, had just one.

“Well, they’re fresh,” Eagles center Jason Kelce joked. “They haven’t been doing anything for months, since last season. They should have some fresh legs.

“I’m not a defensive coach or anything like that, but it seems like they made a big impact. It seemed like they had some splash plays. And it’s not surprising. I played against those guys a lot in my career. They’re very excited to join the team and I think we’re really happy that they’re here.”

It’s clear by the number of snaps and the quality that both Joseph and Suh have spent the first couple months of the season keeping their bodies ready for whenever their opportunities game.

The Eagles signed them after putting Jordan Davis and Marlon Tuipulotu on IR. Davis is expected back this season, which will bolster the depth of the team even more when he returns.

Both played well all game but in the third quarter, Joseph and Suh even combined for a sack on Matt Ryan.

“That’s amazing,” Joseph said. “The two guys that they add to the team, coming in and helping give the team a boost. That’s what we’re here for. Help the young guys and win games.”

Joseph in this game finished with 4 tackles, half a sack, and a QB hit. Suh had 3 tackles, half a sack and a QB hit too.

After the first drive of the game, when Jonathan Taylor carved up the Eagles’ defense on the ground, Jonathan Gannon’s unit was great. They gave up just nine points the rest of the way and some of them came on short fields. It was clear that the two newcomers played a huge role.

“It really hasn’t hit just yet but overall it’s good to be back,” Suh said. “Happy we got the win most important. Like I said before, I just want to add value, be one of the guys to help this team get into the playoffs and hopefully reach a championship.”

Neither Joseph nor Suh were sure exactly how much they were going to play on Sunday. And Joseph pointed out that the nature of the close game meant more snaps than he might have anticipated. But both held up fine.

The trickiest part of getting ready to play on just a few days notice was catching up on the terminology. Suh said the veterans on the team — guys like Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Javon Hargrave — helped get him up to speed.

During the week, Joseph expressed more concern about what would come after his first game than playing in that first one. After not playing football in months, both Joseph and Suh will probably be sore in the morning and they’ll have a lot of work to do to get their bodies feeling right before the next game.

But if Sunday was any indication, these two veterans have a lot left in the tank.

And they’re going to help down the stretch.

“Man, them boys looked like they were ready to go, like they’ve been here for a while,” Graham said. “I am thankful for them because they kept us up all throughout the game. They had a great attitude throughout the game. It was cool to play with Suh and LJ. We just been out there – we persevered through this one. That’s all we kept talking about; somebody just has to make a play and it was just us up front. I’m just happy that we came out with the W.”

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