The emergence of Josh Sweat couldn’t have come at a better time

Josh sweat
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 06: Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Josh Sweat (94) sacks New York Jets Quarterback Luke Falk (8) in the second half during the game between the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles on October 06, 2019 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Before signing a three-year, $40 million contract extension back in September, Josh Sweat was one Eagle that fans were looking forward to seeing. Everyone knew that Sweat had the talent to be a game-changer and his progression over the last three seasons has proven that to be true.

After falling to the fourth round back in 2018, Josh Sweat has been on a mission to prove his value. The Florida State Seminole went from a sure first-rounder to one of the biggest question marks in the draft due to knee issues. Sweat had injured his knee in a freak accident while rushing during an extra point play. Sweat was once told that his career could be over after tearing his ACL.

“He’s like, ‘Hey, man, you’re probably not going to play football again. I’m 98 percent sure. And we’re probably going to have to remove the bottom of your leg.’ And that’s how he left it,” Sweat remembers. “He said it was likely with the dislocation, especially at that angle—because the artery runs around the back.”

– Josh Sweat to Bleacher Report in 2018

Josh Sweat didn’t rest on the words that the doctors told him but instead trusted himself and his body to bring him to where he is now. The former fourth-round pick is turning out to be one of the biggest steals of his class despite a slower start to his NFL career.

After playing 39 games while starting only three of them through his first three seasons in the league, it seems the Eagles have nothing but faith in Sweat and his future with the team. He collected 10 sacks in that span. Now in his first full season as a starter, it seems like Sweat is blossoming into the player that NFL Scouts thought he could be.

From being one of the fastest edge rushers in the draft to becoming a runaway freight train against opposing tackles, Sweat is finally coming into his own in midnight green. He had his best season this year under a brand new coaching staff. Sweat collected 7.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, 7 tackles for loss, 13 QB hits, and 45 tackles. All except for the lone force fumble werre career highs for the 4th year pro.

In the 2021-22 season, he’s started 13 games after starting only 3 in his first three seasons in the league, finally debunking the myths about his knee. Not only did he get to start but he put up starter numbers while doing so after the team committed to him for another three years.

Josh Sweats’ biggest game this year came when the Birds needed him most against the Washington Football Team. Sweat disrupted Washington’s gameplan on offense as he broke the offensive line consistently and applied pressure to QB Taylor Heinicke. It’s more than just sacks that Sweat brings to this defense. It’s his speed and strength that allow him to be consistently disruptive against opponents. Something that mirrors Eagles’ great, Brandon Graham.

The Eagles are going to need Sweat more than ever against the Bucs offense as the Eagles possess the loaded defensive line needed to cause Tom Brady fits. He’s currently listed on the teams’ injury report with an illness. All of Philadelphia will be hoping he’s back to his best come Sunday.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire