Rehabbing Eagles CB Ron Brooks Says He'll Be Ready for 2017 Season

In the last few weeks, when trying to figure out what went wrong in the Eagles' 2016 season, the same answers have come up over and over again: Lane Johnson's suspension, a few costly big plays and questionable calls.
It seems like no one is mentioning Ron Brooks.
Now, that's not to say Brooks' injury was among the main reasons the Eagles went from a 3-0 start to missing the playoffs, but it shouldn't be discounted either. Brooks was the Eagles' primary slot corner before an injury landed him on IR. After he was out, the Eagles primarily used Malcolm Jenkins in that role, which weakened the back end.
"It got cut short," Brooks said on Monday of his 2016 season. "But it just made me hungry for next year. I feel like I let my team down. It was nothing I could control, but still. I feel like I was playing good ball."
Brooks ruptured his right quadriceps tendon early against the Vikings on Oct. 23 and was lost for the year. Since the injury, Brooks had surgery to repair the tendon and has been rehabbing.
How's the rehab going?
"I'll be ready for the season," he said. "I don't know anything specific (in terms of other milestones). You can always shoot for when you want to be ready, but you can never be ready until your body says you're ready."
For Brooks, who had primarily been a career special teamer in his four seasons in Baltimore, this season was a chance to actually play on defense. He came to Philly with the mindset that he wanted to prove he wasn't just a backup.
While he wasn't a starter before going down with his injury, Brooks had been playing 76.3 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps, which was based on how often opposing teams line up with three receivers.
It's pretty clear the Eagles need to upgrade the cornerback position during the offseason. Nolan Carroll is set to be a free agent, while it would probably make sense for the team to move on from Leodis McKelvin and save over $3 million in cap space. Seventh-round pick Jalen Mills will be back, but what about Brooks?
And if Brooks is back, has he already lost his chance to play a considerable role on defense?
"I'm hoping to be in the same position (in 2017)," Brooks said. "I never want to settle or limit myself to one job or anything like that. Coming in, whatever they want me to do I'll do. I can play anywhere - corner, nickel, safety, whatever they need from me."
The Eagles were 4-2 this season in games Brooks played and 3-7 in games he missed. Those numbers aren't to illustrate a cause and effect, but to show that Brooks had to watch his teammates lose a lot of football games without him this season.
He saw one of those losses from the first row, when he traveled to Baltimore and sat in the stands. Brooks said his injury didn't allow him to go to as many games as he would have liked, but he was willing to take the relatively short drive down I-95 to show his teammates support.
The Eagles lost that one 27-26; it was their fifth loss in a row. Watching his teammates lose was the toughest part of Brooks' injury.
"Yeah, not being able to help, feeling kind of helpless," he said. "But I've been in this position before. Not this long, but been here before. It's nothing I can't deal with or handle. It makes me hungry for next year really."

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