Brown Out Vs. Bucs
Knee Injury Sidelines Birds Top WR For Wild Card Game
The Eagles will play their first-round playoff game Monday night without their top offensive playmaker.
Wide receiver A.J. Brown, who made his second straight Pro Bowl and third overall, is out because of a knee injury he sustained in Sunday’s season finale against the Giants.
Head coach Nick Sirianni confirmed on Saturday that Brown won’t play, adding that the fifth-year wide receiver “fought like crazy” to be ready but that it “was always going to be a stretch” for Brown to play.
Brown could possibly play in the second round, if the Eagles can defeat the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa in the NFC Super Wild Card round.
Brown, who had a career-best 106 receptions this season, finished with 1,456 receiving yards, just 40 shy of the career high he set last season in his first year with the Eagles. He also had seven touchdown catches.
The Eagles’ next-best receiver, DeVonta Smith, missed the season finale with an ankle injury but is expected to play against Tampa Bay.
Julio Jones and Quez Watkins are likely to be fill-ins for Brown, who typically lines up as the team’s “X” receiver, on the boundary, and Olamide Zaccheaus could see time in the slot.
The Eagles have also featured more two tight-end formations over the last few weeks, which puts just two wide receivers on the field.
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.