Brooks to IR was expected. Doug Pederson previously confirmed the Eagles’ veteran blocker suffered a separated shoulder during Philly’s Week 17 win over the New York Giants. Brooks will have surgery and spend the offseason rehabbing and recovering for the second year in a row.
With Brooks out, it remains to be seen who starts in his place. Brooks’ normal backup would be Halapoulivaati Vaitai but he’s been starting at right tackle in place of an injured Lane Johnson. There’s some thought Johnson might be able to play against the Seattle Seahawks this week but it’s not a lock. If Johnson can’t play, Vaitai will likely continue to start at right tackle with 2018 sixth-round pick Matt Pryor starting in place of Brooks. Pryor has never made an NFL start but he has looked okay in relief of Brooks twice this season.
As for Gibson, the Eagles’ 2017 fifth-round pick is back with Philly after spending the 2019 regular season on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad. The Browns opted not to sign Gibson to a future contract, making him available to the Eagles.
The Eagles now have six wide receivers on their 53-man roster: Nelson Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, Robert Davis, Deontay Burnett, and Gibson. Agholor is still dealing with a swollen knee; he isn’t expected to play this week. JJAW has recently been limited in practice and game action due to a foot injury. This means that Ward, Davis, Burnett, and Gibson are the Eagles’ primary healthy wide receivers.
In addition to contributing on special teams, Gibson gives the Eagles a big play threat (in theory, at least). Gibson showed off deep speed during the 2018 preseason when he had nine receptions for 195 yards (21.7 average!) and two touchdowns. Gibson’s sole reception during the 2018 regular season went for 48 yards.
The Eagles’ coaching staff showed a lack of trust in Gibson in the past so it’s hard to imagine he’s suddenly going to have some big role in the offense. Not to mention that the Eagles’ real deep threat — DeSean Jackson — is expected to be activated from injured reserve for the divisional round if the Eagles can beat the Seahawks and advance to next week.
But, hey, maybe Gibson can provide a spark against Seattle. Other former practice squad players have stepped up for the Eagles ... so, why not him? (Side note: Gibson is the third wide receiver added to the team over Marken Michel since Michel re-signed to the practice squad. First it was Davis, then it was Burnett, now it’s Gibson.)
Speaking of the practice squad, the Eagles released linebacker Deshaun Davis and signed offensive tackle Dieugot Joseph (first name pronounced: jeh-GO).
Davis was originally signed in mid-December after Kamu Grugier-Hill was placed on injured reserve.
Joseph, 25, went undrafted out of Florida International University back in 2017. Here’s a long list of the transactions he’s been involved in:
And here’s a scouting report on him from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
Intriguing physical traits and tools, but he will need extensive technique work in order to eliminate some of the bad habits that are holding him back. Teams will be attracted to his length, and one will take him on Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) and try and bring him along slowly as a left tackle lottery ticket they hope pays off down the line.
With Brooks done and Johnson banged up, doesn’t hurt to add another o-line body to the practice squad. Joseph could be worth a look on the 90-man offseason roster.
Current Eagles practice squad
OT Dieugot Joseph
WR River Cracraft
TE Alex Ellis
DT Albert Huggins
WR Marken Michel
CB Tremon Smith
C Keegan Render
RB De’Angelo Henderson
QB Kyle Lauletta
WR Marcus Green