Throughout the 2019 season, the Philadelphia Eagles dealt with an injury bug that ceased to be exterminated.
Long before the 2020 season has kicked off, Philly is already dealing with another monumental injury.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that three-time Pro Bowl selection Brandon Brooks was lost for the upcoming season due to a torn left Achilles.
While a trio of trips to the Pro Bowl obviously garners some recognition, offensive linemen are always overlooked. It's just the nature of the position and the nature of football.
But this is a huge loss for the reigning NFC East champions.
The Eagles had the best offensive line in the NFL last season, per Pro Football Focus, and Brooks was the best of the best.
Highest-graded guards in 2019 by PFF
(per NFL Research)
PHI Brandon Brooks 92.9
IND Quenton Nelson 91.2
DAL Zack Martin 88.1
BAL Marshal Yanda 86.6
NE Joe Thuney 77.4
Following his eighth NFL season, Brooks earned a 92.9 overall PFF grade thanks to an 85.5 pass-blocking grade (fifth) and a 91.4 run-blocking score (first).
The top-rated guard, per PFF, Brooks is arguably the best player on the Eagles and has been not only outstanding, but a constant in the lineup.
Having made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons, Brooks has started all 48 games across those three regular seasons.
Turning 31 in August and set for his ninth NFL season, Brooks' consistency in the regular season doesn't leave him absent of injury concerns, though. Preceding the current Achilles tear, he tore his right Achilles in the Eagles' 2018 NFC Divisional Round loss to the Saints and spent the offseason rehabbing. Last campaign, he missed Philadelphia's NFC Wild Card loss to the Seahawks with a dislocated shoulder.
Thus, injuries are an issue and playing without Brooks is also an issue where success is concerned.
A key contributor in the Eagles' Super Bowl LII ascent and triumph, the bulldozing Brooks was graded out as the best guard in football a season ago.
For all the magic that coach Doug Pederson has produced in the past when dealing with injuries and for as overlooked as thankless O-linemen can be, losing the 6-foot-5, 335-pound Brooks is a huge loss for Philly in more ways than one.