EAGLES DEFENSE WILL HAVE HANDS FULL WITH THE GOAT AND HIS SUPPOTING CAST THURSDAY
No one around the Eagles is talking about the hand injury Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady incurred during his five-touchdown performance against the Miami Dolphins.
It won’t do anyone any good.
That would counterproductive thinking.
Brady played all last season with an MCL injury and won a Super Bowl.
He has played with injuries before and will no doubt be ready this Thursday at the Birds (2-3) take on the defending Champs at the Linc. (FOX 8:20).
Brady was seen icing down his thumb during the Dolphins game and had his hand wrapped during the postgame press conference.
During his weekly podcast “Let’s go,” Brady addressed the injury.
“Obviously, a little bit sore after,” Brady said. “Anytime you hit it on someone or a helmet or whatever, your hand can become pretty vulnerable. I broke my ring finger on my right hand, I tore ligaments in my middle finger, tore ligaments in my pointer finger, ripped my thumb almost apart one time so this is just, you know, hopefully something I can work through pretty quickly. It’s a little bit sore but nothing I’m not used to. I’ve certainly had worse.”
On Monday, Eagles rookie head coach Nick Sirianni talked about the challenges not only dealing with a short week, but also dealing with the seven-time NFL Champion.
“Yeah, he poses a lot of challenges for everybody, that's for sure,” Sirianni said. “Obviously, he's been so good for so long. Everybody knows who Tom Brady is and how he operates. We'll definitely have our hands full with this offense that we're playing, and this defense is really good that we are playing, as well. I can't say enough of Todd Bowles (DC) coached defense. He consistently has his teams in the top of the league. He consistently has his players playing hard. He consistently has his players in a good position to make plays.
“And so, yeah, it's going to be a challenge on a short week against obviously the defending Super Bowl champs, but sure glad it's at our place and sure glad that we've got our fans here to support us and we look forward to the challenge that lies ahead on Thursday night.”
Towards the end of the Eagles come-from-behind 21-18 win in Charlotte against the Panthers, fans saw that rookie offensive lineman Landon Dickerson was replaced at left guard by third-year player Nate Herbig.
Sirianni explained what happened there and whether Dickerson, who had a laundry list of injuries at Florida State and Alabama, was seriously injured.
Sirianni was also asked about how well Andre Dillard has played since coming in for injured tackles Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson. Mailata started against Carolina at right tackle. Johnson remains out for what has been non-football personal reasons.
“Yeah, well, as far as Landon, Landon had to come out,” Sirianni said. “He had a little tweak of his ankle and then he didn't go back in, but he looked good today. We are expecting him to be able to roll.
“But I thought Nate did a good job when he came in and Nate gave us some meaningful reps. Whenever you finish with the ball in your hands in a four-minute drill, which we did yesterday with the defense having three time-outs, you did your job on four-minute. Now, there's a lot to clean up on four-minute that obviously we're not happy about, but you know, again, Nate was a part of that. Nate was a part of us ending the game with the ball in our hands."
Coach went on about Dillard’s play.
“As far as Andre goes, I thought Andre, I've said this from the beginning, I thought Andre had a great training camp,” he said. “Him and Jordan were battling. Andre got dinged and then Jordan was playing really well, so Jordan, obviously, won that job. So, I've had complete confidence in Andre since I've gotten here. And then he played his good game in the Jets final preseason game and then he's played three good games in a row. And so he's just playing consistent football, playing good football and I'm sure glad we have him on this team and I'm happy with the way he's playing.”
THE BUCCANEERS HAVE PLENTY OF ASSETS FOR BRADY TO USE
The Bucs will be without All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is out with fractured ribs and a punctured lung.
The Bucs still have plenty of weapons including running back Leonard Fournette had 110 scrimmage yards (67 rush, 43 rec.) and his rushing touchdown of season last week. He is looking for his third in a row with 100-plus scrimmage yards.
Wide receiver Mike Evans had six catches for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns last week.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown had seven catches for 124 yards and two trips to the end zone last week.
Wide receiver Chris Godwin is looking for his in third in a row on Thursday with eight-plus catches, 100-plus receiving yards and touchdown catch.
As you can see, “Big Play” Darius Slay and company with have their collective hands full.
Sirianni talked about the secret to getting ready for Thursday games.
“It's to make sure you're keeping things simple and not getting too complicated because you're not going to have the live reps of doing things you're going to do in games,” coach said. “So, keep things simple. Keep it to things that guys can learn and execute that you've been executing all year. But then again, also be able to attack them enough where you're going after the style of defense they are.
“So, there's always a happy medium in that. But definitely just be able to do things that we can execute, knowing that we don't have a lot of time to get ready for this game.
“And then also, this week will be walk-throughs because we've got to get our legs back underneath us, so it's resting the guys, as well, having more mental reps and having more walk-through reps to get their bodies physically ready to play. But a lot of this is going to be get mentally ready for this game week.” *
Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii