Over the next four weeks, we’ll be counting down the 20 most important Eagles for the 2020 season.
Yes, the Eagles have already lost the 13th most important member of their 2020 season when Brooks went down with a torn Achilles last week. We were going to change the list but we thought it was important to leave him on there and highlight how big of a loss it is.
Brooks suffered his first Achilles tear in that playoff game against the Saints in the 2018 postseason and while talking about that game a few months later, Jason Kelce said he thought the Eagles were a starting right guard away from moving on. That’s how important Brooks was to the Eagles.
But then he rehabbed from that torn Achilles and was ready in eight months so he never missed a start. That was impressive enough. But the fact that Brooks returned in eight months and then went on to play the best season of his career and become the best guard — arguably the best offensive lineman — in football was incredible.
And saying Brooks might have been the best OL in football last year is not hyperbole. In fact, ProFootballFocus ranked Brooks as the best lineman in the league for 2019. In four seasons with the Eagles (4,482 snaps) Brooks has surrendered just three sacks.
Brooks has quickly become one of the best players in the league and is already one of the best free agent signings in Eagles history. So the loss hurts; they’re going to miss him.
The good news for the Eagles is that whoever plays right guard for them this season will be sandwiched between Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson, who are widely considered to be the best center and right tackle in the NFL. So if it is Matt Pryor who ends up starting there, he has a shot. And he played fairly well last January in the playoff game.
He just won’t be Brooks. That would be an unfair bar to set.
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