Brooks out for the sea­son; Peters ‘good for this week’

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Jack McCaf­fery jm­c­caf­fery@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Jack­McCaf­fery on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA >> Al­ready down one veteran tackle, with Lane John­son serv­ing a 10-game sus­pen­sion for a failed per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing-drug test, the Ea­gles were in dan­ger Mon­day of mak­ing it two.

But a day af­ter a 21-10 vic­tory over the Min­nesota Vik­ings, Doug Ped­er­son as­sured that the bi­ceps in­jury suf­fered by left tackle Ja­son Peters was not se­ri­ous.

“There is noth­ing struc­turally (wrong) or any­thing,” the Birds’ coach said. “There are no mus­cle tears or any­thing like that. It’s just a strain. He’ll be fine. He’ll be good for this week.”

The Birds will visit the Dal­las Cow­boys Sun­day night. One player who will not par­tic­i­pate is cor­ner­back Ron Brooks. Brooks sus­tained a rup­tured right quad ten­don, was placed on in­jured re­serve and will miss the rest of the sea­son.

Ped­er­son did not of­fer an im­me­di­ate so­lu­tion to the loss of Brooks, but in­di­cated that safety Mal­colm Jenk­ins could be used more as a slot cor­ner­back.

“I would think that it would be very sim­i­lar to what we’ve seen with Jalen Mills on the out­side and then Mal­colm com­ing down in­side and play­ing the nickel spot,” Ped­er­son said. “And Jaylen Watkins will be back there a lit­tle bit.”

To add cor­ner­back depth, the Birds signed Aaron Grymes and as­signed him to the prac­tice squad. Grymes had played in the CFL for Ed­mon­ton and im­pressed in the Ea­gles’ train­ing camp be­fore suf­fer­ing a shoul­der in­jury.

Af­ter bat­tling a ham­string in­jury, cor­ner­back Leodis McKelvin played Sun­day and re­cov­ered quickly, ac­cord­ing to Ped­er­son. That will help ease the loss of Brooks.

“He came out of the game ex­cep­tion­ally well,” Ped­er­son said. “With Leo be­ing healthy now, it gives you a lit­tle more depth.”

The Ea­gles will be off Tues­day and re­turn to prac­tice Wed­nes­day. In the short term, that will mean more prac­tice op­por­tu­ni­ties for rookie C.J. Smith, who was re­cently pro­moted from the prac­tice squad.

“We’ve got to con­tinue to look at get­ting C.J. some more reps prob­a­bly dur­ing the week,” the coach said, “to have a full com­ple­ment of sec­ondary help.”

Brooks’ in­jury makes it likely that the Birds will ex­plore a trade for a veteran. Ped­er­son stressed that would be vice pres­i­dent of foot­ball oper­a­tions Howie Rose­man’s call.

*** Also en­ter­ing the in­jury dis­cus­sion Mon­day was de­fen­sive end Kamu Grugier-Hill, who has a strained right ham­string and, ac­cord­ing to Ped­er­son, is “go­ing to be week-to-week.”

Jor­dan Matthews re­ported rightknee ten­dini­tis and “is go­ing to be fine,” Ped­er­son said. Also, My­chal Ken­dricks con­tin­ues to re­cover from a rib con­tu­sion. He, too, will “be OK,” ac­cord­ing to the head coach.

Ben­nie Lo­gan, who did not play Sun­day, “is get­ting bet­ter,” as he re­cov­ers from a groin strain, Ped­er­son said.

*** As a hedge against a con­tin­u­ing ab­sence of Lo­gan, the Birds claimed Tay­lor Hart off waivers from San Fran­cisco.

Hart was a fifth-round draft choice of the Birds in 2014 and played 14 games for the Birds last sea­son. He was re­leased by the Birds this sea­son, claimed by the 49ers, and re­leased.

Of­fen­sive line­man Matt Rotheram was re­leased.

*** A week af­ter strug­gling in his first NFL start, Halapouli­vaati Vaitai was im­proved Sun­day in the right tackle spot va­cated by John­son.

“I just think it was learn­ing from the week be­fore, quite hon­estly,” Ped­er­son said. “He re­ally de­tailed his work dur­ing the week. He prac­ticed ex­tremely well. He used his hands bet­ter. He was able to kind of calm the storm, so to speak, and played a fine foot­ball game.

“He played the type of game that we saw in him and that he’s very ca­pa­ble of do­ing. Now, it’s some­thing that he can con­tinue to build on.”

John­son still must serve an­other eight games of that 10-game sus­pen­sion.

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