How Eagles’ Brandon Brooks earned ‘superhuman’ status in week one

I don’t think people are aware of just how incredible the journey back from injury has been for Brandon Brooks. The veteran offensive lineman tore his Achilles in the playoff loss to New Orleans and somehow was not only healthy for week one but was adamant he could’ve played more than his pitch-count. If that sounds super-human, that’s because it is.

The recovery

Brooks sustained the injury on January 13th in the divisional game vs Saints. He had surgery on the 17th.

By June 21st, Brooks was doing change-of-direction drills, putting full weight on his Achilles:

About a month later, Brooks was a go for the 1st day of training camp on July 25th. Everyone but Brooks thought it was incredible

“It’s always interesting to see people who are writing about you tell you basically when your injury should be done. Like, everyone’s a doctor all the sudden. …There was no doubt in my mind that I’d be here”

Brandon Brooks on 1st day of training camp

Research on torn Achilles injuries says it’s insane

A study on NFL players recovering from torn Achilles injuries was released on March 12th. The study investigated the “return to play” time and rate for 80 players.

29 (36.25%) players injured did not return to play. Of the remaining 51 players, it took a mean of 11.90 months to return to play, with 95 % recovering with a minimum of 10.7 months.

BROOKS TOOK 239 DAYS!!! That’s about 8 months. Impressively, it’s more than 2 months EARLIER than 95 % of the study population. Let that sink in.

All-pro performance vs Washington

Coming off consecutive pro bowl season, along with not having given up a sack since 2016, Brooks is known for being one of the best in the game.

Brooks played 54 snaps against the Redskins. He allowed 0 sacks, 0 hits, and 0 hurries. He was the 5th best ranked offensive lineman (including T, G, and C) with a ridiculous score of 81.6.

“He (Brooks) was explosive. Being able to come off the ball, change of direction, it just looked like he picked up where he left off “

Head Coach Doug Pederson on Brooks’ performance vs Redskins

The tape speaks volumes too. He doesn’t give up space in pass protection against bull rushers, he has money hand placement, and looks smooth in his vertical set:

In the run game, Brooks continues to seal off defenders with insane angles, move huge 3-4 NTs and DTs, and transitions nicely to the second level on run blocks:

Not only has Brooks destroyed the field in Achilles injury recovery, he returned to play in all-pro form.

Eagles fans everywhere should be incredibly proud of Brandon Brooks. It’s not every day that someone can recover from a career-threatening injury in this time frame, let alone be ready to play, let alone do so at an all-pro level. This is an incredible story that words simply will never do justice.

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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