Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Dec 2010

Brandon Graham Out for Year, Stewart Bradley Out Indefinitely

The Eagles saw a pair of front seven players go down with injuries last night. Defensive end Brandon Graham is done for the year with a torn ACL, while middle linebacker Stewart Bradley has a dislocated elbow that will keep him out for the rest of the season. My best estimate based on historical data is that an injury like this takes about 4-6 weeks to heal, so it's not surprising that the Eagles aren't putting him on IR; Bradley could still have a role to play if the Eagles make a deep playoff run.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 13 Dec 2010

13 comments, Last at 14 Dec 2010, 5:37pm by tuluse

Comments

1
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Mon, 12/13/2010 - 2:10pm

I'm convinced that there's some linebacker curse in Philly. I dunno what it is. It's just impossible for them to have a healthy, good linebacker corps. They haven't had the same starting linebackers in Week 1 and Week 17 since 2005 (although technically not even then, since in Week 1 Trotter got tossed pregame).

2
by jebmak :: Mon, 12/13/2010 - 2:47pm

I remember that game. I had money on the Eagles. DAMMIT!

4
by jw124164 :: Mon, 12/13/2010 - 3:27pm

I think I 'member that one too - against the Falcons right? Lots of trash talk pre-game, and a key defensive guy got tossed for Philly. Falcons end up winning as underdogs.

5
by Dean :: Mon, 12/13/2010 - 3:49pm

Mike Labinjo was the backup. He'd been a hyped up practice squad guy the previous year (to the extent such a thing is possible - not that it will stop someone from pointing out that inconsistancy - again) who made the roster and suddenly found himself starting. He acquitted himself so well that he was unemployed a few weeks later.

8
by Southern Philly :: Mon, 12/13/2010 - 4:36pm

Part of that is injury, part of that is because the Eagles can't develop linebackers worth a lick. I'm fairly sure they've never had the same three starting linebackers on opening day two years in a row under Reid. Trotter held down MLB for years and Bradley is pretty good when healthy, but other than that it's been a revolving door of, at best, fungible players like Mark Simoneau, Omar Gaither, Shawn Barber, Carlos Emmons, Nate Wayne, and so on and so forth. The highest LBs they've drafted under Reid were 2nd rounders Matt McCoy, Quinton Caver and Barry Gardner. One can be forgiven for having never heard of those guys. So they are constantly trying to find guys who can play LB as the season goes on, but since they are terrible at it, they are always searching.

9
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 12/14/2010 - 6:07am

No wonder everyone here thinks Bradley is awesome--he is, compared to those guys!

I've seen his impressive advanced stats, but with my eyes I see a below-average linebacker. I'd say a guy like Rocky McIntosh is about NFL-average, and Bradley isn't on that level.

11
by Dean :: Tue, 12/14/2010 - 11:16am

He used to be. Before he hurt his knee, Bradley was a rising star and was performing at a pro bowl level. This year, not so much. Maybe he hadn't recovered 100%? Maybe his play tallied off for some other reason, but he wasn't the same force he'd been prior to the knee injury.

10
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/14/2010 - 6:26am

My first thought was that the Eagles didn't spend much draft value on linebackers, so I looked at the Eagles drafting of linebackers vs the Bears under Angelo, and both teams used similar value on them (actually an edge to the Eagles). So yeah, they're just bad and scouting and/or developing LBs. Of course that's one thing the Bears are excellent at. Jamar Williams and Nick Roach could start for a lot of teams, but when you have Urlacher and Briggs, it's hard to find play time for them.

OT: I've always been impressed with Jamar Williams when I see him play, but the coaches don't seem to agree with me. They keep him around, but other guys are always passing him on the depth chart. Maybe he'll go to another team someday and then I'll see if I'm right or wrong.

12
by Eddo :: Tue, 12/14/2010 - 1:26pm

Jamar Williams did go to another team; he was traded to Carolina for Chris Harris this past offseason.

Surprised you missed that, tuluse.

13
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/14/2010 - 5:37pm

Doh! I thought I remembered reading it was just a draft pick.

Well, it looks like he's not playing much for them either. Kind of weird that a team would trade a starting player for another and then not actually use him.

3
by Dean :: Mon, 12/13/2010 - 3:16pm

I hope Bradley is OK. I dislocated my elbow in 1996 and the docs said I'd never completely straighten my arm again. I got back more mobility than they thought I would and can get it pretty close to straight, but I never did regain full mobility and have had arm pain every day from it for about the last 7 years or so.

6
by bubqr :: Mon, 12/13/2010 - 3:51pm

B.Graham's one hurts a lot too, as it will prevent him from having a good offseason. And S.Bradley's contract situation will be really interesting to follow this offseason, what do you make of him ?

7
by DavidL :: Mon, 12/13/2010 - 4:00pm

Bradley has proved by his absence that he's an extremely valuable part of the Eagles' linebacking corps, but the frequency of that proof is getting....unsettling, let's say. Expect the Eagles to try to re-sign him, but not with any kind of world-beating offer.