The optimistic timeline hasn’t changed for Brandon Brooks as he continues to rehab from a torn Achilles. He still wants to be out on the field at his starting right guard spot for the Eagles in the season opener. However, the 29-year-old won’t sacrifice his health if he’s not feeling right.
Brooks has been participating in individual drills at training camp, off to the side on a separate field reserved for those fighting their way back from injury. He has been stressing himself to the max and putting pressure on his injured right knee, an ailment that can take up to a year to fully heal. Remember, Brooks was carted off the field last January in the Eagles’ divisional-playoff loss to the Saints. Any pain?
“No, I feel good. Haven’t had an issue. Haven’t had a setback,” Brooks told Heavy.com Thursday. “I’m doing individual [drills], really trying to lay into guys, no issue with it.”
However, Brooks remains cautiously optimistic about being ready for Sept. 8 against Washington. He doesn’t want to rush back and reinjure himself, an unnecessary problem that may have caused both Sidney Jones and Carson Wentz to experience setbacks in their own recoveries.
“It’s funny because everyone asks me, Week 1 this, Week 1 that … the biggest thing is me being healthy and going out there and feeling like my old self,” Brooks said. “If that’s Week 1 then I’ll be out there Week 1. If that’s a couple games after Week 1, then that’s what it is.”
Brandon Brooks No Fan of Instagram
Brooks has to be one of the humblest players on the Eagles roster, maybe in the entire NFL. He also might the best right guard in football. Yet the man that landed at No. 7 on Pro Football Focus’ list of the NFL’s top-ranked interior linemen never seems to get the respect he deserves. That’s OK. He’s fine with it. And don’t look for him to go on Instagram and vent about it anytime soon. Brooks doesn’t even own an account on the picture-sharing platform.
“I’m not on social media. I don’t have Instagram, it’s really not that important to me,” Brooks said, although he does have a Twitter account. “I’m really not into the whole likes and this, that and the other. For me, getting the respect from my peers across the league, guys I play against — and the coaches — is really the biggest thing for me.”
Still, it’s hard not to feel like Brooks has been underappreciated. He rarely gets mentioned in the same breath as his more popular offensive linemates, guys like Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson. Brooks points to his unassuming personality and quiet demeanor — and maybe a lack of an Instagram account — as reasons why he sometimes gets forgotten by the mainstream media.
“For years I went out there and locked guys up. It’s really not that big a deal to me,” Brooks said. “I always play with a chip on my shoulder. It’s not about being Mr. Popular, that’s not what matters to me. Being the best at my position and at what I do is what’s important to me, so that’s just kind of how I do it.”
Brooks was left off NFL Network’s Top 100 NFL Players, too. Some players lobby for the accolades. He never will.
“For example, Lane [Johnson] is a huge personality, right? So obviously a great player but even if he wasn’t his name would still be out there just because of what he does,” Brooks said. “Me and Lane are opposites in that whole deal. I’m just here to get respect from the guys I play against.”
Malik Jackson Says Brooks Talks Trash
While it’s true Brooks flies under the radar off the field, he has been known to run his mouth on it. Newcomer Malik Jackson was quick to name-drop Brooks as the “biggest trash talker” on the Eagles after he was asked that question on the 94WIP Midday Show with Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie.
The two endured some epic battles against one another in the AFC South back when Jackson was playing for Jacksonville and Brooks was playing for Houston. They also worked out together coming out of college in Arizona.
“I’m a big trash talker and the one who talked back was Brandon,” Jackson said. “I trained with him a lot, trained with him in Arizona coming out of college, and then when he was in Houston, in the AFC, so I was talking to him a lot.”