When A.J. Brown popped up on Thursday’s injury report with an illness, people started to panic about the Pro Bowl receiver’s status for Sunday night. Head coach Nick Sirianni provided an encouraging update on Brown, saying that he expected him to practice on Friday and suit up for the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Yeah, he’s going to practice today,” Sirianni told reporters. “He’s fine. He’ll be ready to go.”
The Eagles didn’t disclose Brown’s illness, except to confirm it’s not COVID-19. He had been dealing with a minor ankle injury in recent weeks, but it didn’t appear to be a limiting factor. He hauled in 5 balls for 60 yards against the Indianapolis Colts, one week after hobbling around on that bum ankle. Brown is enjoying a career year: 49 receptions for 785 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Sirianni Calls Quez Watkins ‘Big-Time Playmaker’
Quez Watkins knew his role may take a back seat after the Eagles traded for Brown. He was going into the 2022 campaign set to be the team’s No. 2 receiver, behind DeVonta Smith, until Howie Roseman shocked the world on draft night. Watkins never complained or sulked over a move that was going to severely eat into his targets.
He’s emerged as their speedy deep threat after racking up 111 receiving yards in back-to-back games, although stats don’t tell the whole story with Watkins.
“I think he’s handled it great. Obviously, Quez is a big-time playmaker that wants to make plays,” Sirianni told reporters. “Just because Quez may not be stuffing the stat sheet, the last couple games have been good as far as his stats, but he still affects the game because of the speed that he has and the big play ability that he brings to this team.”
Sirianni has been even more impressed with Watkins’ maturity. He traced it back to a meeting early in the year when he stood in front of the team and explained everyone’s role in no uncertain terms.
“I looked at every guy in here individually in front of their teammates, I talked to them each individually while everybody was in here and basically spelled out their role,” Sirianni said. “Quez’s role was to be able to make timely plays just like he did last year. He had more opportunities when we needed him. Quez had a really good ability of making big plays last year when we needed him, and they were usually explosive ones.”
Eagles Make 2 Roster Moves: Add Anthony Rush
The Eagles made a few roster tweaks over the Thanksgiving holiday. They signed defensive tackle Anthony Rush to the practice squad and released offensive guard Tyrese Robinson. Rush has been a moving chess piece for Philly dating back to the Doug Pederson years. He’s been on and off the roster, bouncing from the practice squad to the active roster. He’s a 6-foot-5, 350-pound mountain of a man who can stuff the run.
The team was back on the practice field on Friday as they prepare to host the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field for Sunday Night Football. That means the Eagles have a full weekend to rest and relax … and watch college football while eating their leftover turkey.
“Tomorrow I’m going to watch football,” Sirianni said. “I’ll go home, I’ll eat leftover turkey and mashed potatoes like everybody else, and I’ll watch Michigan-Ohio State. I always enjoy watching that game.”