Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Ryan Kerrigan underwent thumb surgery this summer after injuring the appendage most vital to a person’s ability to grip. The four-time Pro Bowler has to ask his wife to open a bottle of water for him, but that’s not stopping him from playing in Sunday’s season opener.
Kerrigan, who has 95.5 career sacks, will be wearing a protective device on his right thumb in Week 1, something he will likely have to keep on for all 17 games of the 2021 campaign. The 33-year-old said the safety covering hasn’t inhibited his movements in any way on the football field. Kerrigan has been “pleasantly surprised.”
“Got my thumb covered up,” Kerrigan told reporters on Friday. “It’s nothing crazy. I can still grab mostly. I’m feeling good.”
The initial injury happened on Aug. 2 during one of the Eagles’ first training camp practices on what Kerrigan deemed a “standard collision.” It wasn’t a major hit or an awkward fall. But there was enough pain to warrant a post-practice MRI examination which showed structural damage. He opted for surgery on August 10.
“I was actually pleasantly surprised when I initially had surgery and injured it,” Kerrigan said. “I was very concerned with, how am I going to be able to strike? How am I going to be able to grab without my thumb? But I’ve been really surprised and pleasantly surprised.”
The Eagles inked Kerrigan to a one-year, $2.5 million (via Spotrac), with a $1.425 million signing bonus this offseason. The 265-pound pass rusher came over to Philadelphia after a dominant 10-year run as a member of the Washington Football Team. He’s listed at defensive end and looks to serve as a rotational pass rusher behind Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat.
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NFC East News: Cowboys Lose Key Starter
Drugs are bad, mkay. That’s the main takeaway from Dallas Cowboys camp where starting right tackle La’el Collins is facing a five-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. That would keep the 320-pounder out for the Eagles-Cowboys showdown on Sept. 27. Collins is appealing the decision, but those are seldom overturned.
The Cowboys lost a heartbreaker to the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night 31-29. Dallas actually held a 29-28 lead in the fourth quarter but they gave the ball back to Tom Brady with 1 minute, 24 seconds left in the game. Not smart.
Kerrigan to See Snaps at Linebacker?
Kerrigan played linebacker for the majority of his tenure in Washington, albeit as a pass-rushing specialist in a 3-4 defensive scheme. His greatest asset remains getting to the quarterback – 95.5 sacks, 147 QB hits in 10 seasons.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon didn’t rule out possibly putting Kerrigan at linebacker in certain packages. His job is to put the best 11 guys out on the field, regardless of position.
“He’s done it. So, we’ve talked about that,” Gannon said. “We always talk about, ‘Hey, who is our pair and our spare?’ So, we are always looking for guys that can play multiple spots, especially on game day, and I know he’s done it. Obviously, he hasn’t taken reps at it but yeah, possibly down the road if it fits for us, for on game day or for the depth of that position, yeah, possibly.”