Who's in for Ron Brooks? | Eagles Addict
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Philadelphia Eagles

Photo: (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Kevin Burkett

The big news coming out of Philadelphia in the wake of the Eagles’ Sunday night clash with the Minnesota Vikings is that cornerback, Ron Brooks, will probably miss the rest of the 2016 season after rupturing a quadriceps tendon in the game. It’s a huge loss for the Eagles, leaving a thin backfield even shorter.

Plan B

Brooks, who will require surgery on the leg, and is unlikely to make another appearance for the Eagles until training camp next year, is a newcomer to the Lincoln Financial Field, joining in offseason free agency from the Buffalo Bills. He made his presence felt right away, and has 12 tackles and a pass deflection after five games. He’s also played 76% of Philly’s defensive snaps.

In the short term, the likelihood is that the Eagles will run with ‘Plan B’, putting Jaylen Watkins in for Malcolm Jenkins, pushing Jenkins to slot and Jalen Mills to nickel cornerback – the same Plan B Philly used against the Vikings at the weekend.

As far as depth is concerned, the squad only had five cornerbacks on the roster at the weekend; namely, Mills, Brooks, Nolan Carroll, rookie newcomer, CJ Smith, and Leodis McKelvin, who is arguably the best corner Philly have when he’s not injured. McKelvin, back for Week 7, was a question mark on Sunday, following time off with a hamstring problem.

Aaron Grymes

With Brooks now reportedly on injured reserve, the Eagles had a roster spot open for all of a few hours. As of Monday, however, Aaron Grymes is back in the Eagles’ roster. Grymes, who had 58 tackles and 4 interceptions for the Edmonton Eskimos in a standout career north of the border, will add much-needed depth to the secondary.

It’s been a weird few months for Aaron Grymes. The Idaho graduate was dropped from the Eagles 53-man squad in August following a shoulder injury he picked up against the Pittsburgh Steelers during preseason. Despite a good showing in that game (four tackles), the 25-year-old probably thought it was the end of his NFL career.

CJ Smith is another option. Smith signed for the Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent in the summer (at the expense of Quentin Gause). While the youngster hasn’t done much yet (he was a game day inactive in his first two games), he played alongside Eagles QB, Carson Wentz, and fullback, Andrew Bonnet, at North Dakota. He’s likely to be more active going forward.

Carson Wentz

Photo: (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Keith Allison

Dallas Cowboys

It’s far from the end of the world but Brooks’ injury is definitely not what the Eagles wanted ahead of their first-place deciding game with the Cowboys on Sunday. Philadelphia are outsiders in that encounter with the bookmakers – they’re 15/8 with Betway, for example – but they at least have statistics on their side; the Eagles have won their last three games in Dallas, and haven’t lost in the Lonestar State since 2012.

The major concern is stopping a Cowboys’ corp headed by wide receiver, Dez Bryant, with a less-than-optimal secondary. Bryant, who has been sidelined with a right knee injury for the past month, and has only played three games so far this season, will make his return against the Eagles this weekend.

There’s also the issue of the Cowboys’ rookie running back, Ezekiel Elliott. The Eagles’ run defence has been spotty in recent games, with the Week 6 game against the Redskins arguably the worst of it. Philly gave up 230 yards and missed ten tackles in that match. Elliot has 730 yards already this season; he has to be a target for both Dallas with the ball and the Eagles on foot.


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