Eagles Fear Brandon Graham Could be Lost for the Season
The Eagles lost more than a game on Sunday.
They lost the heart and soul of their defense.
According to veteran reporter Derrick Gunn and confirmed by Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquire, Eagles defensive end Brand Graham tore his Achillies in the loss against the 49ers, ending his season.
“It’s terrible," said Lane Johnson. "He’s probably one of the greatest humans that I’ve had the pleasure of playing with and competing with for eight, going on nine years. He’s really the heartbeat of this team by the way that he conducts himself, the way that he leads, and the way that he plays. I’m not sure what the extent of the injury is, but I’m heartbroken for him.”
"Obviously with Brandon Graham, we're fearful of what it might be," admitted Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni. "But we don't know for sure yet, so I don't want to say. But obviously we're concerned."
While Sirianni didn't confirm the injury, Graham put out a tweet confirming his season was over.
Graham was carted off to the locker room after he suffered a non-contact injury in the first half.
“I mean, it’s always tough and it was a pretty emotional moment for me to see BG limp off the field because I think me and BG – I know me and Brandon have played so much ball together and to see him walk off the field was pretty rough for me," said Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.
Its a huge blow to the Eagles defense, Graham, has 16.5 sacks in his last two seasons, so the Eagles are losing one of the most dependable pass rushers and one of the top run stuffers in the game.
"He's such a good leader on this football team, so if we are without him, it will be a big blow," acknowledged Sirianni. "He's a great football player and a great leader, obviously one of our captains, so we are fearful, but I don't want to just say what it is yet because I don't know for sure."
Expect to see more of veteran Ryan Kerrigan with Graham out and likely more snaps for Josh Sweat.
The team just signed Graham to a one-year contract extension worth $20 million over the next two seasons.
"BG has been my locker mate since I got here and now we still get to laugh and talk about things, it’s just he won’t be on the field on Sunday, it’ll be in the locker room," said Cox. "So, I’m looking forward to that and making sure he stays in a good place.”
"I'm still getting more information on him (Brooks)," explained Sirianni. "I don't have all the information on him yet. Obviously, he didn't return. So, again I don't know everything there. Obviously, I was trying to call the game and also manage the game, so I don't have all the information on him yet."
Brooks walked to the locker room in the first quarter and was replaced by rookie second-round pick, Landon Dickerson, who got his first NFL action of his career.
"Not having him out there is a tremendous loss for us," said Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson. "Having him out there might have been the difference between us winning and losing.”
Brooks of course missed all of last season with an Achilles' tear that he suffered last summer.