The Eagles got one of their biggest offensive pieces – literally – back on the practice field for Friday’s training camp practice.
Right guard Brandon Brooks (6-foot-5, 335 pounds) participated in his first practice this summer after being held out since the start because of a hamstring injury.
It felts good to be back.
“Very frustrating,” Brooks said about missing the first week of camp. “The biggest thing is when you’re sitting in there, watching guys practicing and you’re in there riding the bike or running on a treadmill or something, wishing you were out there. But at the same time, it makes you more hungry when you come out.”
In all, Brooks missed seven practices before joining the team on a limited basis Friday.
He and running back Ryan Mathews (quad) were limited upon their returns. Brooks, 26, participated in individual drills and offensive install; he didn’t participate in any team drills.
“He’s good. He’s good,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “He’s another one who’s day to day. It was good to see him and Ryan both out here, get some individual work, some group install. We’ll kind of keep progressing with both of those guys.”
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Brooks said he re-injured his hamstring before camp while running, trying to prepare for the team’s conditioning test. The initial injury happened earlier and he rehabbed back, but didn’t like the way it responded last week.
Because of the injury, the Eagles' prized offensive line acquisition from the offseason missed seven full practices with his teammates on the offensive line. Lane Johnson, who mans the right tackle spot next to Brooks, said the two forged a relationship during OTAs, so the communication won’t be hard to get back. Still, seven days away is seven days away.
“The more repetitions the better,” Johnson said. “That’s what it’s all about, five guys playing as one.”
While Brooks returned on Friday, left tackle Jason Peters was out with a quad injury. It’s unclear when the entire starting offensive line will be on the field together for the first time this summer.
Brooks will likely see his workload increased at Saturday’s lighter 10-10-10 practice. Once he is back in full-force, the tough style of Pederson’s camp won’t be a shock. With the Houston Texans, Brooks spent summers in brutal heat hitting at camps run by Gary Kubiak and Bill O’Brien.
It won’t be long before he’s a full-go with the Eagles.
“From a mental standpoint, I know what I’m doing. It’s no big deal,” he said. “It’s just conditioning yourself to hitting people every day, things of that nature. Luckily for me, I’m not necessarily a young guy. I’m more of a middle-of-the-road guy, so I know what it takes. A little more time, just keep progressing every day.”