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