Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham, last year’s first round pick, will miss at least the first six weeks of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Graham’s torn ACL, suffered last December, can be thanked for that.
Still, the affable and talented Michigan product is upbeat about his recovery.
“Right now, I’m about 90 percent and you know I’ve got six weeks left,” Graham said, per the Eagles. “I’ll be ready after that.”
If he really is healthy, Graham should be an instant contributor. In the meantime, with the depth the Eagles have on the line right now, there’s no need for Graham to sacrifice his rehab.
“With an injury that’s usually the first thing they do, they try to rush you back because they need you at that time,” Graham said. “Right now, we’ve got people that can contribute. This is good. They’re giving me my time because they’re going to need me in the long run, not right now.”
Graham will be eligible to come off the PUP list after Week 6 and will then be allowed to practice for up to three weeks without being counted towards the active roster. During that time the Eagles would need to decide whether to activate him completely or put him on injured reserve, ending his season.
Once the six weeks are up Graham will finally start getting coached up by defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who actually liked Graham coming out of school. The new Eagles coach saw Graham as a great fit for the scheme Washburn was running with the Titans at the time. Washburn prefers smaller, explosive, high motor guys so it makes sense that he liked Graham. The second year defensive end knows what Washburn has accomplished working with pass rushers and looks forward to getting his turn.
“I know coach is ready for me. We talk everyday about getting ready and tackling it one day at a time and that’s what I’ve been doing, not worrying about the future too much,” Graham said. “He is already yelling at me from afar. I can’t wait to see it when I get close.”
The idea of a fully healthy, Washburn-coached Graham rushing the passer opposite Trent Cole is very exciting indeed.