Eagles’ Brandon Brooks tears Achilles tendon

Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl G Brandon Brooks will have to battle back from injury one more time. According to Brooks, he tore his left Achilles tendon. He is expected to miss the 2020 season.

Brooks tore his Achilles while working out at the NovaCare Complex(team’s practice facility) on Monday, according to CSN Philly’s Derrick Gunn.

The nine-year veteran tore his right Achilles tendon back in the 2018 season against the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs.

The 30-year-old Brooks has struggled with injuries over the past two seasons, including injuring his shoulder last season in Week 17, which caused him to miss the playoffs. 

Obviously, this a big blow for Brooks and the Eagles. But, he did come back from one Achilles injury and made the Pro Bowl, so maybe he can do it again. However, it won’t be easy.

Advertisements

Pederson: ‘I have a ton of confidence in Nate(Sudfeld) to become the backup quarterback’

As we learned over the past three seasons, the backup quarterback position is a big deal for the Philadelphia Eagles. Carson Wentz has missed time in the past three seasons, and while he played all 16 games for the Eagles in 2019, Wentz suffered an injury against the Seahawks in the playoffs, and without him, Philadelphia would lose to Seattle in the wild card round.

Barring anything dramatic, and despite Philadelphia selecting QB Jalen Hurts in the second round of this year’s draft, it appears that Nate Sudfeld will be the backup quarterback for the Eagles in 2020. And with some changes to the offseason due to COVID-19, Sudfeld, who has been with Philadelphia for the past three seasons, knows the Eagles’ offense,  which, according to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, will benefit Sudfeld in 2020.

“I think early on in this season, this becomes a veteran-laden football season,” Pederson said during a video conference call on Tuesday. “Football teams are going to have to rely on their veteran players, and Nate is one of those guys for us. He’s been on our roster the last couple of seasons, and he knows exactly what we are doing. I have a ton of confidence in Nate to become the backup quarterback. Nothing is ever handed to anybody, and we always try to create, I always try to create competition at every position, and quarterback, as you guys know, is not exempt from that. But I fully expect Nate to come in and be aggressive and do the things that he’s capable of doing, and become the backup to [QB] Carson [Wentz].”

Regarding Hurts, Pederson had this to say.

“And then with Jalen(Hurts), Jalen is about, right now, just learning and picking up our system, and he’s another one, another young player that we drafted who, there’s a lot to learn from the quarterback position,” he said. “So, are we going to take it a little bit slower maybe with him until he grasps the offense? You might have to. What I like about it is always the unknown, and the unknown is how well a guy, I think, can progress. And then once we get him on the grass, put him through drills, put him through practices, then we see exactly what these guys are all about.

“Right now, Jalen is doing an outstanding job of picking up the offense, spitting it back to [Eagles Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach] Press [Taylor], and understanding what we are trying to get done, and we go that route with him right now at this time.”

This is an excellent opportunity for the 26-year-old Sudfeld. However, if things go the way Philadelphia wants things to go with Wentz, Sudfeld will never see the field in 2020. 

Eagles’ Watkins: ‘DeSean(Jackson) has really been one of my role models as a receiver’

Speed kills, and the lack of speed at wide receiver killed the Philadelphia Eagles last season, especially when DeSean Jackson went down with injury in Week 2, but after the NFL draft, that may have changed, especially with the addition of WR Quez Watkins.

The Eagles selected Southern Mississippi’s Watkins in the sixth round on Saturday. The 22-year-old Watkins is fast and ran a 4.35 40 at the combine. Watkins was a two-time All-Conference USA first-team wide receiver, and in 2019, he caught 64 passes for 1178 yards and six touchdowns.

Now, Watkins gets to play with another speed guy in Jackson, who Watkins feels he could learn a lot from this season. 

Oh, man. DeSean(Jackson) has really been one of my role models as a receiver as a speed guy, kind of a similar body style,” Watkins said. “Really just ready to start learning and getting a lot of stuff, getting a lot of knowledge from him.

In addition to Watkins, the Eagles grabbed two other wide receivers in the draft with speed in Jalen Reagor and John Hightower, and they added another speed guy in WR Marquise Goodwin from the 49ers in a trade. According to Watkins, all that speed is going to make for some interesting practices.

“The practices are going to be, I feel like, up-tempo, and you’re going to see a lot of guys just flying around,” Watkins said. “A lot of 4.3 guys really flying around. A lot speed, a lot of playmakers,” 

Due to injury, wide receiver was a sore spot for the Eagles last season, and if these young players can contribute right away, and DeSean Jackson can stay healthy, the wide receiver position could become a strength for Philadelphia in 2020. 

 

Wentz’s charity softball game, home run derby canceled due to COVID-19

Sadly, just like a lot of things in the world of sports, the 3rd annual Carson Wentz AO1 Foundation Charity Softball Game and Home Run Derby has been canceled because of the COVID-19 health situation.

The foundation announced in late 2019 that the event would be held on May 8, 2020, at Citizens Bank Park.

“We take the health and safety of our supporters seriously, and while it’s disappointing that we can’t have the game this year, we think it is the best decision considering the health and safety of our supporters,” said Zach Wentz, executive director, Carson Wentz AO1 Foundation. “We hope that fans will be excited to know they can plan on a 2021 Charity Softball Game!”

All ticket purchases will automatically be fully refunded in 5-7 days. For questions about a ticket purchase or refund, please contact the Phillies at tickets@phillies.com.

Pederson on Graham: ‘He’s a Philadelphia Eagle first, and he’s the player second’

Eagles DE Brandon Graham has been around Philadelphia for a long time. He is the longest-tenured Eagles player on defense. But, things did not start out that great for Graham, who was the 13th pick by the Eagles in the 2010 NFL Draft. Graham struggled earlier in his career, and many criticized the Eagles for passing on S Earl Thomas and selecting Graham in that draft.

However, over time, Graham got better, and ultimately, made one of the biggest plays in franchise history when he stripped Tom Brady in Super Bowl 52, which led to the Eagles defeating New England 41-33.

Now in his 10th season, Graham, 31, who led the team with 8.5 sacks this season, has become one of the leaders, and on Sunday, Philadelphia will need his leadership as they battle the Seahawks in the Wild-Card game at Lincoln Financial Field.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has been impressed with the way Graham has been encouraging his teammates before games, and because of that, Graham will be one of the team captains on Sunday.

“He’s a great leader,” Pederson said about Graham on Friday. “In fact, he’s going to be one of my captains this weekend just because of that. It just says a lot about who he is. He’s a Philadelphia Eagle first, and he’s the player second. He leads more by example than anything else.

“And on top of that, he plays through injury, he plays hurt, and we get a lot of production out of him. To be able to play at a high level that he has throughout his — the last — since I’ve been here anyway — the last four seasons, he’s another one that’s pretty special to have on the team.”

 Philadelphia ended the 2019 season on a roll, as they won four straight to end the season. Although injuries have decimated this team, they seem to have a lot of confidence entering the playoffs, and maybe with Graham’s leadership, Philadelphia can get past the Seahawks and keep their season alive on Sunday. 

Eagles’ Groh on Boston Scott: ‘He’s finding that goal line’

On Tuesday, Eagles RB Boston Scott was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Giants on Sunday. Scott, who played most of the game after Eagles RB Miles Sanders left with an ankle injury, had 54 yards rushing, 84 receiving yards and three rushing touchdowns. Scott finished the game with 138 yards from scrimmage. The receiving yards, the touchdowns, and yards from scrimmage were all career-highs for Scott.

Scott was a Giants’ killer this season. He accumulated 266 yards from scrimmage and four rushing touchdowns against New York. 

It’s safe to say that if the Eagles did not have Scott, they would not have won the NFC East and would not be preparing to play the Seahawks at the Linc on Sunday. 

According to Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh, Scott is finding ways to get to the end zone.

“The power of the goal line. It’s a wonderful thing,” Groh said on Tuesday. “The other day, the line did a terrific job. They opened up some really big holes. Boston obviously is hungry. He’s finding that goal line, done a really good job of finding the hole, being patient, picking his way through it, but then when there has been a tackler present himself, he’s taken on that guy and been able to fall into the end zone or finish in the end zone.

“I think it’s a combination of things: good design, some good plays, and the guys have blocked him really well, and then obviously Boston has finished them off. Credit to him and being able to get in there three times.”

Obviously, with Sanders dealing with an ankle injury and Jordan Howard just returning from a shoulder injury, Scott will continue to get his touches on the ground and through the air, which, based on his production, is probably a good thing. No one would have expected him to have this type of impact this season, but we could say that about a lot of guys playing right for the Eagles.

NFL Wild Card, Divisional playoff schedule announced

The NFL announced tonight the schedule of sites, dates and times for the National Football League Wild Card Playoffs on January 4-5 and Divisional Playoffs on January 11-12.

NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS

Saturday, January 4

AFC:    4:35 PM (ET)  Buffalo at Houston (ESPN, with simulcast on ABC)

AFC:    8:15 PM (ET)  Tennessee at New England (CBS)

Sunday, January 5

NFC:    1:05 PM (ET)  Minnesota at New Orleans (FOX)

NFC:    4:40 PM (ET)  Seattle at Philadelphia (NBC)

NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

Saturday, January 11

NFC:    4:35 PM (ET)  Philadelphia/Seattle/Minnesota at San Francisco (NBC)

AFC:    8:15 PM (ET)  Houston/Buffalo/Tennessee at Baltimore (CBS)

Sunday, January 12

AFC:    3:05 PM (ET)  New England/Houston/Buffalo at Kansas City (CBS)

NFC:    6:40 PM (ET)  New Orleans/Philadelphia/Seattle at Green Bay (FOX)

In the Divisional Playoffs, the division champion with the best record in each conference will host the lowest-seeded Wild Card survivor. Once teams are seeded for the playoffs, positions do not change:

American Football Conference

National Football Conference

1.

Baltimore (14-2), AFC North champion

1.

San Francisco (13-3), NFC West champion

2.

Kansas City (12-4), AFC West champion

2.

Green Bay (13-3), NFC North champion

3.

New England (12-4), AFC East champion

3.

New Orleans (13-3), NFC South champion

4.

Houston (10-6), AFC South champion

4.

Philadelphia (9-7), NFC East champion

5.

Buffalo (10-6)

5.

Seattle (11-5)

6.

Tennessee (9-7)

6.

Minnesota (10-6)

The AFC (CBS, 3:05 PM ET) and NFC (FOX, 6:40 PM ET) Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 19.

The 2020 Pro Bowl (ESPN, with simulcast on ABC, 3:00 PM ET) will be played on Sunday, January 26, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, and Super Bowl LIV will take place on Sunday, February 2 (FOX, 6:30 PM ET), at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 17

We have played 16 weeks of football, and it all comes down this. 

In the NFC, five out of the six playoff teams have clinched, but two divisions are up for grabs. In the NFC East, if the Eagles defeat the Giants, they win the NFC East; however, if they lose and the Cowboys beat the Redskins, Dallas wins the division. And in the NFC West, Seattle and San Francisco battle it out on Sunday Night Football. The winner grabs the NFC West, and the loser gets the first wild card spot.

In the AFC, five out of the six playoff teams have also clinched, but the sixth and final spot involves three teams(Raiders, Titans, Steelers) with the Titans controlling their own destiny. 

Here are all the playoff scenarios for Week 17:

AFC

CLINCHED:

Baltimore Ravens – AFC North division and homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs

Houston Texans – AFC South division

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division

New England Patriots – AFC East division

Buffalo Bills – playoff berth

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4) (vs. L.A. Chargers (5-10), 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Kansas City clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. KC win + NE loss

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-3) (vs. Miami (4-11); 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. NE win or tie OR

  2. KC loss or tie

OAKLAND RAIDERS (7-8) (at Denver (6-9); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Oakland clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. OAK win + PIT loss + TEN loss + IND win + OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PIT*

 *OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PIT if ONE of the following teams win or tie:

CHI, DET, LAC OR NE

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-7) (at Baltimore (13-2); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. PIT win + TEN loss or tie OR

  2. PIT tie + TEN loss OR

  3. TEN loss + IND win + OAK loss or tie OR

  4. TEN loss + IND win + PIT ties OAK in strength-of-victory tiebreaker*

*PIT ties OAK in strength-of-victory tiebreaker if ALL of the following teams win:

MIN, GB, KC AND MIA

TENNESSEE TITANS (8-7) (at Houston (10-5); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. TEN win OR

  2. TEN tie + PIT loss or tie OR

  3. PIT loss + IND loss or tie

NFC

CLINCHED:

Green Bay – NFC North division

New Orleans – NFC South division

Minnesota — playoff berth

San Francisco — playoff berth

Seattle — playoff berth

DALLAS COWBOYS (7-8) (vs. Washington (3-12); 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Dallas clinches NFC East division with:

  1. DAL win + PHI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3) (at Detroit (3-11-1); 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Green Bay clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. GB win OR

  2. NO loss OR

  3. GB tie + SF loss OR

  4. GB tie + NO tie

Green Bay clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. GB win + SF loss or tie OR

  2. GB tie + SF loss + NO loss or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-3) (at Carolina (5-10); 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. NO win + GB loss or tie OR

  2. NO win + SF loss or tie OR

  3. NO tie + GB loss OR

  4. NO tie + SF loss OR

  5. SF loss + GB win or tie

New Orleans clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. NO win + GB loss or tie + SF loss or tie OR

  2. NO tie + GB loss + SF loss

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-7) (at N.Y. Giants (4-11); 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Philadelphia clinches NFC East division with:

  1. PHI win or tie OR

  2. DAL loss or tie

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (12-3) (at Seattle (11-4); 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

San Francisco clinches NFC West division title with:

  1. SF win or tie

San Francisco clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. SF win OR

  2. SF tie + GB loss or tie OR

  3. SF tie + NO loss or tie

San Francisco clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. SF win OR

  2. SF tie + GB loss or tie + NO loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-4) (vs. San Francisco (12-3); 8:20 ET, NBC)

Seattle clinches NFC West division with:

  1. SEA win

Seattle clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. SEA win + GB loss

Seattle clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. SEA win + GB loss + NO loss

Wentz: ‘The crowd was electric tonight; it felt like a playoff atmosphere’

On Sunday in Philadelphia, it was win or go home for the Eagles, and they rose to the challenge. Behind Carson Wentz, who threw for 319 yards and one touchdown, and a stifling Eagles’ defense, Philadelphia was able to defeat the Cowboys 17-9. 

The Eagles now control their own destiny and have to beat the Giants on the road in Week 17 to win the NFC East.  

“That was a big win for us,’ Wentz said after the game. ‘The crowd was electric tonight; it felt like a playoff atmosphere. Just like we said the last few weeks, our backs were against the wall. Guys made plays. Defense played great. Offensively, we definitely left some plays and some points out there, but man, it feels good to get this victory.”

Throughout this season, injuries have had an impact on this Eagles’ team, and on Sunday, it was no different. Early in the second quarter, Eagles corner Ronald Darby left the game and did not return after re-injuring his hip, and Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz left the game with a rib injury, but he would return. However, those things did not stop Philadelphia from winning this game,  and according to Wentz, this team knows what it takes to fight through adversity.

“I think just the resiliency that I’ve seen, it’s been the next-man-up mentality from really the moment I got here in Philadelphia,” Wentz said. “You see it over and over, and it’s exciting to see these guys come to work with a sense of belief and the pride they take in their work and to get it done out here on Sundays.”

This might have been the biggest win in Wentz’s career, but the Eagles still have to win one more game to make the playoffs, so they have to avoid a letdown against the Giants.

“[We have to] just get back on and prepare the same way we always do and have no letdowns,” Wentz said about playing the Giants. “It’s going to take the leaders to make sure we’re emphasizing that point. But at the same time, even just talking to a lot of the guys in the locker room, I can already feel that. I can already feel that no one’s complacent now or feels like we won anything. We have to go prove it again, and we’re excited for it.”

The Giants enter this game against Philadelphia on a two-game winning streak, including Sunday’s 41-35 victory over the Redskins in OT. The Eagles have a few days to worry about that, but for now, they get to enjoy Christmas and their win over the Cowboys.

NFL announces changes to Week 17 schedule

NFL ANNOUNCES WEEK 17 SCHEDULE (DECEMBER 29)

The NFL today finalized the schedule for Week 17 on Sunday, December 29 (all times ET):

Sunday, December 29

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

1:00 PM

CBS

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

1:00 PM

FOX

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals

1:00 PM

FOX

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

1:00 PM

FOX

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs

1:00 PM

CBS

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

1:00 PM

FOX

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

1:00 PM

CBS

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1:00 PM

FOX

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

4:25 PM

CBS

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys

4:25 PM

FOX

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

4:25 PM

CBS

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars

4:25 PM

CBS

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

4:25 PM

FOX

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos

4:25 PM

CBS

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

4:25 PM

FOX

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

8:20 PM

NBC​​

  • Cleveland at Cincinnati has moved from 1:00 PM on CBS to 1:00 PM on FOX.

  • Pittsburgh at Baltimore has moved from 1:00 PM ET on CBS to 4:25 PM ET on CBS.

  • Washington at Dallas has moved from 1:00 PM on FOX to 4:25 PM on FOX.

  • Tennessee at Houston has moved from 1:00 PM ET on CBS to 4:25 PM ET on CBS.

  • Indianapolis at Jacksonville has moved from 1:00 PM ET on CBS to 4:25 ET on CBS.

  • Philadelphia at the New York Giants has moved from 1:00 PM ET on FOX to 4:25 PM ET on FOX.

  • San Francisco at Seattle has moved from 4:25 PM ET on FOX to 8:20 PM ET on NBC.