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May 28, 2019

Jason Kelce optimistic that Brandon Brooks will return for start of Eagles season

The Birds' right guard tore his Achilles' tendon during the playoffs last season, but could be back sooner than expected

The Eagles are practicing right now without three of their starting offensive linemen: Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson and Jason Peters.

Each are key veterans and each have injury concerns — Brooks recovering from a torn Achilles sustained in the playoffs last January — and Peters — from a banged up 2018 in general. Johnson has some wear and tear from a long year last year and is likely taking it easy to start the offseason.

Kelce, who has fought through several recent injuries of his own, has been leading the Eagles makeshift first team offensive line in OTAs thus far, often partnering the All-Pro center with Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and rookie tackle Andre Dillard.

Don't expect that to be the unit in September. But for now, Kelce is making it work.

"If Lane or JP were here, then maybe they could be helping out, but without them here, the young guys are getting more reps."

Peters and Johnson will each likely assume their roles at tackle when the entire team reports in June for mandatory minicamp. As for the right guard Brooks? Well, Dr. Kelce has some good news to report.

"I think he’ll be back," Kelce said. "I am not a medical staff person, but I think if you look at Achilles injuries in general over the past couple years, I shouldn't be saying this — something can go wrong in any rehab, there can be setbacks and some guys heal better than others — but those Achilles injuries are pretty routine. The only thing is if you tear one you can tear the other one. That’s the only thing I am remotely hesitant about.  

"I think he’ll be back, not for training camp or preseason but for Week 1 or if not for Week 1 not long after.

"His rehab is going well if that counts for anything."

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