NFL Doctor Gives Encouraging Recovery Timeline for Andre Dillard

Andre Dillard

Getty The Eagles are relying on Andre Dillard to step up in 2020 and take over for Jason Peters at left tackle.

Andre Dillard will reportedly undergo surgery on his torn biceps muscle, but it might not be a season-ending injury.

When the second-year tackle first left Thursday’s practice, everyone feared the worst. Dillard was already dealing with a shoulder strain, plus the increased expectations of replacing NFL legend Jason Peters. Then, it was reported that the 24-year-old was done for the year. Maybe not.

According to Dr. David J. Chao, there is a chance Dillard could return late in the season and possibly help them on a potential playoff run. The left tackle’s injury appears to be on the distal biceps, the tendon at the elbow. Players can return quicker from that surgery and actually play football with a brace on.

“I feel he has a good chance to return late this season,” Chao wrote on Twitter. “With the distal biceps, can play in an elbow brace later this year.”

Chao’s opinion matters since the board-certified orthopaedic surgeon is one of the foremost experts on NFL injuries. The former head team physician for the Chargers has worked in football for more than 17 years. He’s gone on record saying that his analysis is more than 90-percent accurate, although it is not an official diagnosis.

“This is not diagnosis. This is not a substitute for a hands-on exam or imaging studies,” Dr. Chao told CNBC in 2019. “This is video impressions. This is no different than Tony Romo or any experienced QB in the NFL saying it’s going to go to the tight end based on the coverage. It’s just insider knowledge, not insider information.”

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Pursuing Possible Trade for Dillard’s Replacement

The Eagles haven’t officially confirmed that Dillard is hurt, so he hasn’t been placed on injured reserve. However, it’s only a matter of time before they announce the inevitable. When they do, it’ll be interesting to see what injury designation the Eagles give him.

Should the Eagles pursue another offensive lineman for depth? It’s widely assumed that Jason Peters will take over at left tackle in Dillard’s absence. Maybe the team would want to find another veteran in free agency (that list is less than intriguing) or call someone about a trade. The Seahawks had been mentioned in late June as a good partner if they were seriously trying to move Ethan Pocic.

The former second-round pick is as versatile as they come on the offensive line having played both guard spots, center, and right tackle. Would a disappointing second-round pick on the Eagles, cornerback Sidney Jones, be of interest in a swap? It would be worth investigating. The only problem is reports out of Seattle are that Pocic is finally back in Pete Carroll’s good graces after a down year in 2019.

Pocic has been getting first-team reps at center in a three-way competition for the starting spot. The Seahawks might not be ready to give up on him just yet, especially not for Jones. There’s a decent chance the Eagles flat-out cut him.

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