Eagles Lose 2 Key Starters, MRI Expected on All-Pro

Brandon Graham

Getty Eagles captain Brandon Graham left the field on Sunday with a left ankle injury.

Brandon Graham addressed the Philadelphia Eagles prior to kickoff in Week 2, telling his teammates to “knock them out.” Then the Pro Bowl defensive end got knocked out of the game in the second quarter.

Graham – the heart and soul of the Eagles’ defense – was carted off the field after limping off before halftime. He was unable to put any weight on his left leg and the team ruled him out with an ankle injury. Graham is feared to have suffered an Achilles tendon injury, according to Derrick Gunn. Derek Barnett replaced him at defensive end in the Eagles’ base defense.

Graham is expected to miss the rest of the season, per Gunn. Head coach Nick Sirianni wouldn’t confirm it was a season-ending injury but he did admit he was “fearful” it was.

Graham was voted team captain for the third straight year by his teammates. He is the Eagles’ vocal and emotional leader. The 33-year-old recorded eight sacks in 2020 and earned his first Pro Bowl nod. He has 59 career sacks in 160 games, which ranks fourth all-time in franchise history.

Meanwhile, starting right guard Brandon Brooks left the game with a chest injury. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Brooks suffered a pec injury and an MRI is scheduled for Monday.

He was replaced by rookie Landon Dickerson who made his NFL debut in Week 2. The second-round pick was just activated from the PUP list on Aug. 30.

“I feel like we’re ready as far as that goes,” Sirianni said prior to Week 1. “Really confident and committed to the plan that we use to get the guys ready. I’ve seen them ready to play all those plays and go. But again, the all hands-on deck is just so you’re ultimately ready in case someone needs a blow.”

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Jalen Hurts Drops Dime to Quez Watkins

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts dropped an absolute dime to Quez Watkins late in the second quarter. The speedy receiver caught the ball in stride and took it 91 yards down the field. Watkins was tackled at the eight-yard line.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, the drive stalled at the goal line and they walked away with zero points. They missed on four opportunities to punch it in from the one-yard line, including a botched trick play on fourth down. The Eagles went into the halftime locker room trailing the San Francisco 49ers 7-3.

Eagles Leave Five Players Inactive

The Eagles left five players inactive for Sunday’s game: S Rodney McLeod, CB Mac McCain, QB Gardner Minshew, T/G Brett Toth, DT Marlon Tuipulotu.

Marcus Epps started at strong safety for McLeod who is still recovering from ACL surgery. Hurts and backup Joe Flacco were the only two quarterbacks active on gameday. The decision to leave Toth inactive was a bit surprising considering the Eagles’ lack of depth at the tackle spot.

Andre Dillard had been training at right tackle at practice this week so he is the primary backup behind right tackle Lane Johnson and left tackle Jordan Mailata.

“He’s been playing right tackle [and] left tackle,” offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland told reporters. “Some guys have a much easier time going to the right side. He’s been working on that right now, and that’s been going pretty good.”

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