Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham tore his Achilles in Week 2 last season but the 34-year-old will be back for 13th NFL season in 2022.
He’ll even be ready for OTAs later this spring.
Graham on Tuesday was a guest on Sports Take with Derrick Gunn, Barrett Brooks and Rob Ellis and was asked about his recovery from the injury that stole most of his 12th NFL season.
“I’m OTA-ready,” Graham said. “We were just talking about that today. I’m going to be doing a lot of the same things with the team. It’s not like what we used to do, doing all the team reps and stuff like that. It’s going to be more individual and then you’re going to have to learn the plays, go through plays and stuff like that. Nothing that’s really going to tax you too much other than individual drills and stuff like that. That’s what we like doing. We like working on the technique.
“But I’m back to normal, man. It’s just getting my lungs right. It’s like the offseason. I’m off the protocol of just rehabbing every day. It’s just more so training and getting my body right and making sure I can run around for longer, doing different workouts and different stuff like that. But, yeah, I feel like I’m me. I feel like it’s all just about doing it now.”
The Eagles don’t even report for their first day of official spring workouts until Monday, April 25. That’s the second-latest report date in the league this year behind the Bengals (May 2).
And even when the Eagles have their OTAs, they’ll be limited. They will hold OTA days on May 31, June 2-3 and June 6-8 and are one of the teams that elected to forgo a mandatory minicamp. In Nick Sirianni’s first year as head coach in 2021, the Eagles went light in training camp too, prioritizing mental work over on-field time, which seemed to help them stay healthy.
So Graham will be ready for OTAs, but it seems like the Eagles’ OTAs in 2022 will be pretty limited anyway.
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Still, it’s a good sign that he’ll be ready. It was a shame that Graham was injured so early last season but getting injured on Sept. 19 has given him plenty of time to recover. Throughout last season, Graham was seen at the facility as he worked his way back.
On Tuesday, he said he’s beyond the rehab portion of the injury and is just working to get his conditioning back to where it needs to be after the long layoff.
“Right now, man, how I feel, I feel like I haven’t lost a beat,” Graham said. “It’s just really about my lungs, being able to go longer, being able to work out for a longer period and being able to get through it faster. Because we started slow in the beginning and now I’m starting to ramp it up, starting to pick it up. We’re outside cutting, we’re outside running and doing drills and doing stuff that I would normally do in individual, so it’s just about sharpening that sword.”
While Graham is still under contract through this season and next, the longest-tenured athlete in the city again on Tuesday expressed his desire to play 15 years in the NFL. That would mean playing this coming season and two more after it.