After suffering a season-ending injury for the second year in a row, Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks was once again optimistic he’ll be ready for Week 1 — if not much sooner.
Brooks is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder on Thursday, and the three-time Pro Bowler put his timetable for return around summertime, possibly even “toward the end of OTAs.”
“For a couple days, it was like, ‘Damn, another injury, another rehab,’” said Brooks a day after the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs. “But in the grand scheme of things, I had an Achilles that was much worse, and people were telling me I wasn’t going to come back and do what I did with an Achilles."
“If I had to come back every offseason, if I had the same year I had this past year, I would do it.”
The timing of Brooks’ injury was eerily similar to last season, when he tore his Achilles during the Eagles’ postseason loss to the Saints. This time, he was injured in Week 17.
Brooks explained the dislocated shoulder occurred during a field goal try.
“My arm got bent backwards. When it got bent backwards, it came out of socket and broke the bone at the bottom,” said Brooks, adding doctors could not put it back in place on the field.
The description garnered some sympathetic groans from the throng of reporters huddled around his locker. As bad as it sounded, however, Brooks maintained it’s not as serious as what he went through before.
“I tore my Achilles,” said Brooks. “This is way easier than that. It’s not a big deal.”
Indeed, Brooks’ Achilles injury and the timing so late in the year led many to predict he would miss the start of the 2019 season, if he made it on the field at all.
Already a two-time Pro Bowler, Brooks said at the time the injury only intensified his focus and proclaimed all along he would be in uniform and starting at right guard for the Eagles Week 1. He not only achieved his goal, but arguably played better than any offensive lineman in the NFL this season.
While missing the Eagles’ playoff game was tough for Brooks, he knows what it takes to regain an elite form.
“Injury, surgery, rehab, recovery,” said Brooks. “The timetable is a lot shorter, but for the first two or three months, it’ll be about the same.”
The shoulder is perhaps a tad more significant than Brooks is letting on. The surgery must fix both the bone and additional damage caused by the dislocation.
“A little piece of bone, basically they’re gonna put it back on, suture, place two sutures in the front and kind of rope it,” said Brooks. “The bone itself will grow back, and the labrum they’ll just repair and rehab in a couple months.”
Perhaps the biggest difference this time around — besides the injury itself, of course — is Brooks won’t face nearly as many doubters about his ability to come back and play at the highest level.
“Obviously, it’s not something that I want,” said Brooks. “But if it drives me the way it did last season, it’s not all bad.”
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