Part of what makes Eagles G Brandon Brooks the best guard in the NFL is his drive to exceed whatever bar is set. After Brooks injured his Achilles during the playoffs in January, he attacked his rehab and missed only half of the season opener despite most injuries of that kind taking a full year to recover from. The Eagles rewarded him with an extension two years before he was set to hit free agency that made him the NFL’s highest-paid guard.
But that drive is a double-edged sword, as the extension reset the bar for Brooks’ expectations and led to a return of the anxiety condition he’s battled on and off throughout his career. An anxiety attack knocked him from Sunday’s game against the Seahawks, as he could not stop vomiting.
“When I got the new contract, I tried to talk myself down about it, like, ‘Hey, you’re playing great. Just keep doing what you’re doing,'” Brooks said via Matt Mullins of the Philly Voice. “But I think when I talked to my therapist about it, I think also by talking about it unconsciously, it started to get in my head like, ‘Hey, you’ve got to show everybody you’re worth the money.” When [I should’ve said], ‘Hey, just go out there and play. No need to change what you’ve been doing.” That’s what kind of brought it on. That’s the kind of person I am though, that’s kind of like my double-edged sword. It’s something that’s always driven me to try to be the greatest at whatever I do.”
- Eagles WR Greg Ward might have earned more of a role on offense going forward per OC Mike Groh, as he caught six passes for 40 yards on Sunday after being called up from the practice squad: “He did a heck of a job. I think everybody in the locker room, and certainly the coaching staff, has confidence in him moving forward.” (Mike Kaye)
- Eagles second-round rookie WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside will start at outside receiver following the release of Jordan Matthews. (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
- Eagles HC Doug Pederson said WRs Nelson Agholor, Alshon Jeffery and OT Lane Johnson should all be cleared to participate in practice, though Johnson still needs to clear the concussion protocol. (Kaye)
- Eagles RB Jordan Howard still hasn’t been cleared for contact but Pederson says he’s day-to-day and trending in the right direction. (Jeff McLane)
- Eagles QB Carson Wentz said his bruised hand is calming down and in a good spot for Sunday. (McLane)
- Per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, Falcons HC Dan Quinn said WR Julio Jones would be listed as questionable and would be a game-time decision with a shoulder injury for Thursday’s game against the Saints.
- Quinn added Falcons TE Austin Hooper (MCL) would not play, while RB Devonta Freeman (foot) would be ready to return.
- Per the Athletic’s Joseph Person, Panthers HC Ron Rivera said the team brought in K Greg Joseph to the practice squad to compete with K Joey Slye.
- Rivera said Joseph brings consistency and pretty good leg strength, while Slye has exceptional leg strength: “We’ll see.”
- Rivera echoed Panthers owner David Tepper‘s comments from last week when he talked to Slye: “It’s about production, “mediocrity’s not accepted.” (Person)