The Philadelphia Eagles were prepared for Monday night to be their biggest test of the season in the preseason.
After all, what is better than facing Tom Brady and the New England Patriots? This was the game that was going to indicate to the Eagles whether their defense was ready for the season or not, following a shaky outing by the first team defense against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first preseason game.
But Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick just announced that a number of his starters, including quarterback Tom Brady, wide receivers Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker, tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, and linebacker Jerod Mayo will not be playing against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.
The Patriots do have another preseason game in just four days, as do the Eagles. But you have to wonder if Belichick is scared that the powerful defensive line for the Eagles could injure Brady.
The Eagles won’t be playing Jason Babin, who is still recovering from a calf strain, but they’ll have Pro Bowler Trent Cole on the field, as well as Cullen Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Derek Landri, Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, and Phillip Hunt. All are pass-rushing specialists.
Brady is not injury-prone. His only injury was the torn ACL he suffered in the first week of the 2008 season against the Kansas City Chiefs.
But why risk it if you’re Belichick?
He has a tremendous amount of respect for the Eagles. Even last year, when the 4-6 Eagles prepared to face the Patriots, Belichick called the Eagles the most talented team on the schedule for the Patriots.
I really do feel like Belichick is scared of the Eagles’ defensive line, and that’s why Brady isn’t playing tonight.
Would you risk Brady ripping up his knee against the best defensive line in the NFL? I wouldn’t.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.