Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks has been doing more and more on his repaired right Achilles tendon.
Tuesday marks exactly seven months since Brooks suffered his tear, in the playoff loss at New Orleans. He said Monday that he hopes to get clearance for full-team practice when he sees his surgeon Wednesday.
The Eagles will be flying to Jacksonville on Wednesday for the preseason game Thursday against Nick Foles and the Jaguars, and they won’t practice again until Saturday. Even so, that would be a breathtakingly quick return. If Brooks gets such clearance, that doesn’t necessarily mean he will start the Sept. 8 opener against Washington, but it certainly would point him in that direction.
The Eagles on Monday posted a video of Brooks working with left guard Isaac Seumalo, pushing, jostling, and changing direction, seemingly with no impediment.
A study of 80 NFL players with Achilles tendon tears from 2009 to 2014, published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, found that 15 percent of the players suffered a subsequent tear; there was an overall return-to-play rate of 61.3 percent.
“For those able to return, performance only in the season immediately following injury appears to be affected,” the study concluded. It cited a span of six to 11 months for rehabilitation.
With such major injuries, players often say they weren’t back to full effectiveness until a year after the injury, and the study backed that contention.
Brooks has pushed hard to be ready for the 2019 season.
“Brandon cares so much about his teammates and this organization, and he’s just itching to get back out on the field,” offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland said the other day. “He loves it so much. I have to be careful. I’ll do some individual stuff with him, and he wants me to keep pushing him. I’m like, ‘Brandon we’ll go to a certain point here, and then you got to be honest with me and tell me.’ He’s itching to go.”
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, moved from tackle to right guard, has been practicing in Brooks’ spot.
Keegan Render, an undrafted rookie center from Iowa, drifted into the end zone during a red-zone drill, unmarked by defenders who apparently hadn’t noticed that he lined up as an eligible receiver. (There was no ref to make an announcement, as there is during games.) Render caught his first career touchdown pass.
Later the offense tried the same play again, but Render, listed at 6-foot-4, 307, was unable to shake the coverage of linebacker Alex Singleton, who did not seem to be working that hard to keep up as they crossed the end zone, frankly.