Eagles

Fletcher Cox battles through injury to ruin Jared Goff’s night

Fletcher Cox battles through injury to ruin Jared Goff’s night

LOS ANGELES — It was enough to shake your head in disbelief, throw your hands in the air and start to think, maybe this just isn’t their year.

In the first half of Sunday’s eventual win over the Rams at the LA Coliseum, Fletcher Cox hurt his hip. The Eagles’ Pro Bowl defensive tackle made a visit to that damned blue popup tent that has claimed many of his teammates this season. He walked out of the tent holding his body stiff. Then he rode shotgun on a trainer’s cart, taking the same route Carson Wentz walked on a torn ACL about a year ago. 

The Eagles have overcome a lot of injuries this year. They’ve been decimated, in fact. But in the biggest game of the year, with the entire season hanging in the balance, this felt like it could have been a finishing blow. 

It wasn’t, of course. Cox returned to the field in time to ruin Jared Goff’s evening as the defensive line got great pressure to help the Eagles pull off an improbable 30-23 win to keep their playoff hopes alive. 

“Nothing was going to stop me from finishing that game,” Cox said after the game like it was obvious. 

Nothing. 

Not only did Cox return to the game, on his first series back in the second quarter, but he also made a huge play. In a contest that featured some of the best pass rushers in the league, including the NFL’s sack leader on the other sideline, Cox in the second quarter picked up the only sack for either team on Sunday night. 

It was a big one too. At the time, the Rams were up 7-6 and a touchdown in that spot would have stretched that lead. But on 3rd-and-11 from the Eagles’ 15-yard line, Cox took down Goff and forced the Rams to settle for a 41-yard field goal. The Eagles took the lead a few minutes later. 

“It’s a big relief,” Chris Long said about seeing Cox return to the game. “He’s our best player. He might be our best player on our team. So having him out there, he’s the straw that stirs the drink for us, especially on third down. He creates so many opportunities for so many other people. He works his ass off every day and he’s a tough player as you can see.”

Cox, who just turned 28, came into spring workouts with a big, lofty goal in his sights. He had been to the Pro Bowl, had won a Super Bowl. Cox said he wanted to become the Defensive Player of the Year. 

Now, Cox has 7 1/2 sacks this season and, typically, a defensive lineman who wins DPOY needs to get well into double digits. There’s a lot more to Cox’s game than sacks, but that’s sort of been the precedent for the prestigious award. 

That’s why, despite getting blanked by the Eagles in the sack department on Sunday, Aaron Donald is still probably the frontrunner to win the award in back-to-back seasons. He has 16 1/2 sacks through 14 games. 

But Sunday, Cox proved he’s perhaps as important — perhaps more — to his team. 

“I’m a fan of Aaron Donald,” Cox said. “Obviously, that’s my boy. We talk all the time about going out and just being yourself. I think today, I just went out and played my style of football, be physical and get after the quarterback. It was a good day for me.”

It certainly was. As for that hip injury, Cox said he felt fine. He knew might feel some pain in the morning, but Cox was happy to deal with it then. He had a win to celebrate.

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Source: Eagles moving on from linebacker Nigel Bradham

Source: Eagles moving on from linebacker Nigel Bradham

It appears the Eagles are moving on from veteran linebacker Nigel Bradham. 

Bradham, 30, has been with the Eagles since 2016 but it seemed highly unlikely he would be back in 2020, at least under his current contract. 

The Eagles have declined his option, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN first reported the move. 

This move will save the Eagles around $4.5 million in cap space for the upcoming season. Bradham had a team option on his current contract that would have paid him an $8 million base salary in 2020. Bradham is now a free agent.  

There’s a possibility Bradham could return on a cheaper deal but he’ll obviously want to test the free agent market first, a source said. 

At the end of the 2019 season, I spoke to Bradham about his desire to return to Philly and he expressed that he wouldn’t rule out a possible pay cut. 

“It depends on what’s right,” Bradham said in January. “Obviously, I feel like I’m going into a good situation. I just take it from there. I don’t really have a say on what should be done or what should not be done.”

But the Eagles want to get younger and paying an aging linebacker just isn’t their style. 

While Bradham never grew into a Pro Bowl player in Philly, he was a consistent player at linebacker and perhaps knows Jim Schwartz’s defense better than anybody, having played in it in 2014 in Buffalo and then from 2016-19 with the Eagles. That knowledge of the defense allowed the Eagles to use him at several different positions. 

Bradham was a key member of the Super Bowl team but the Eagles can’t keep players for sentimental reasons. 

And during his years with the Eagles, he’s also had his fair share of off-the-field incidents. But his production on the field has helped the Eagles tolerate those incidents. Since his arrival, Bradham leads the team in combined tackles with 348. He also has 21 TFLs, five sacks and 11 QB hits.

But now, for another year, the Eagles are again light at linebacker. They still have Nathan Gerry, T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley and Alex Singleton under contract but that likely won’t be enough. They will likely need to reconstruct the position again this offseason. 

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Eagle Eye podcast: Nigel Bradham’s option declined

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Eagle Eye podcast: Nigel Bradham’s option declined

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro react to the Nigel Bradham news. 

The guys try to figure if it would make sense for the Eagles to trade for Darius Slay. 

Exploring Howie Roseman’s hit rate on Day 1 and Day 2 aside from two specific positions. Ranking every one of Howie’s draft picks by round. 

• Moving on from Nigel Bradham 
• Would you trade for Darius Slay?
• Never rule out a trade with Howie 
• Top of the draft hit rate 
• Rankings Roseman’s draft picks by round
• Dave is back from Argentina 

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