EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — There is nothing more seemingly innocuous than an NFL extra point, but after Jake Elliott’s kick went through the uprights following the Eagles’ first touchdown of a 34-17 playoff-clinching victory Sunday, Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks stayed on the ground.
Concerned teammates gathered. Brooks eventually was helped onto a cart and disappeared down a tunnel, replaced by second-year reserve Matt Pryor. Brooks did not return, because of what the Eagles said was a shoulder injury.
“It’s a pretty frustrating deal. Obviously, Brandon, the importance of him, not just as a player but what he brings to the team – he’s an incredible guy,” center Jason Kelce said. "He’s really made our offensive line take another step forward. Probably the most consistent guy we have up front. That’s a big loss. Hopefully it’s nothing too crazy.
“He just brings so much – the power, the intelligence. He’s a complete player.”
Brooks left the Eagles’ playoff loss at New Orleans last January with an Achilles tear but made an amazing comeback, appearing in the season-opener and having perhaps his best season. He made the Pro Bowl for the third time.
Instead of Brooks and Lane Johnson to his right, Kelce had Pryor and Halapolulivaati Vaitai. Johnson was out with a high ankle sprain.
Kelce said he didn’t have to do a lot of on-field coaching.
“Big V’s played a lot of football for us,” Kelce said. “Pryor, the biggest thing I try to do whenever anybody goes in is, [the Giants] were doing some things moving the front around that we didn’t really study during the week because they hadn’t done it before. It kind of threw us off the first couple of series. I just got with him on that, made sure to catch him up mentally … whenever he’s gone in, I think he’s done pretty good.”
Pryor was a sixth-round pick from TCU in 2018. He entered Sunday’s game having played 44 offensive snaps this season.
Pryor said Brooks has told him to “think you’re the best player out there,” and that he tried to follow that advice.
“Getting those three plays in before halftime kind of settled me in, and when I went back out there, I knew what I had to do," Pryor said.
Other than running back Jordan Howard, the Eagles didn’t get anyone back from their injury list.
Right tackle Lane Johnson and cornerback Jalen Mills, listed Friday as questionable with ankle injuries, were inactive. Tight end Zach Ertz (ribs, kidney) and wide receiver Nelson Agholor (knee) were ruled out Friday. Also not playing were third quarterback Nate Sudfeld, offensive lineman Sua Opeta, and defensive end Shareef Miller.
Howard missed six games with a shoulder problem. He did not carry the ball.