Right guard Brandon Brooks started and played 55 of the 75 available offensive snaps in Sunday’s win over the Redskins. Working on a pitch count, he came out of the game in the second half and was replaced by Big V, who finished out the victory.
It was one hell of an achievement for the Pro Bowler, who tore his Achilles tendon on January 13th, when the Eagles fell to the Saints in the NFC Divisional Round game. Brooks’ recovery as a 30 year old, 6’5″, 345 pound man, seemed like it would carry into the regular season but alas, it did not, and less than eight months after going on the shelf he found himself playing football and earning a spot on the Pro Football Focus team of the week:
— PFF PHI Eagles (@PFF_Eagles) September 9, 2019
Interestingly enough, Brooks was not supposed to play as many snaps as he did. The original restriction was set much lower, as Dave Zangaro at NBC Sports Philadelphia explains:
Brooks was supposed to play just 30 snaps; he ended up playing 55 before exiting the game prior to that 19-play drive in the fourth quarter.
He still wanted more.
“I was really getting in Doug’s ear and Stout’s ear about going back in,” Brooks said.
Eventually, the 30-year-old right guard got his wish. He got one more snap — he was back in at right guard as the Eagles lined up in victory formation to run out the final seconds of their 32-27 win at the Linc.
After the game, Brooks talked about his recovery and the motivation that got him to September, citing the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane specifically:
Especially Jeff McLame!!! C Mac in the back got me Cryin!! pic.twitter.com/az1iOjBSvq
— Chris from VA (@CLeeOaktonVa) September 10, 2019
“I can’t tell you how many reports came out saying that I was gonna be on PUP, I might miss this year, I wasn’t gonna play till mid-season, I for sure was gonna miss the first game, I was overly optimistic, I believe Jeff McLane said that to the exact.”
McLane says he can’t remember writing anything like that:
Brandon and I spoke, but to be quite honest, I still can’t find where I wrote this. But if I provided the motivation, I wonder if he’ll give me a cut of his game check? https://t.co/TbaqLqhFqW
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) September 10, 2019
An unsolved mystery!