When the Philadelphia Eagles face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field, fans could see a player on the field they haven’t seen a long time. Brandon Graham, Eagles first-round draft pick from a year ago, may see some playing time in this huge NFC East matchup on national television (NBC-TV Channel 10).
Graham, former Michigan standout, had successful surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee toward the end of last season. He was placed on the Reserve/PUP list. Andy Reid, Eagles head coach, didn’t rule him out for the Cowboys game.
“You know what, he did pretty well on Monday,” Reid said. “I’m not going to tell you he’s all the way back. We’ll see how it goes. I kind of have an open agenda with this one. We’ll see how he does and we’ll kind of progress from this point.”
Graham, a 6-foot-2, 268-pound defensive end, was the 13th overall selection in the 2010 NFL draft. Before he suffered a torn ACL against the Cowboys last December that ended his rookie year, he played in 13 games and had three sacks. He started six of those games and recorded his first sack against his hometown team the Detroit Lions.
Graham would like to get out there and get a few sacks against Dallas in his first game back. He’s happy to have a chance to get some game action.
“It feels great,” Graham said. “It’s a long road. Now, it’s time to get back to business. I know coaches make their decision on what’s going on right now. If right now, he feels I need to sit back because of how I’m looking in practice I’ll just have to do that. Right now, I’m just worried about getting into full shape or football shape and getting ready to play. I’m not even going to talk about it. I’m going to let him decide, but I want to play.”
Graham is gradually working his way back into the routine of preparing to play football. He’s been taking it one day at a time. He has to adjust to picking up the different schemes defensively.
“Basically learning what Coach Wash (Jim Washburn, defensive line coach) has been teaching,” Graham said. “I’ve been watching it and listening to it. Now, it’s time for me to do it. Wash is a great coach.”
Graham spent a lot of time watching the Eagles play during his long injury period. Of course, the Eagles are off to a 2-4 start. It wasn’t easy for him watching the games instead of being out there.
“It was hard,” he said. “I was hoping to be undefeated by the time I got back here just to keep it going and have some fun. We’re still in a good position. We won our division game other than the (New York) Giants. We’re 1-1 in the division. We have to make sure we keep getting these Ws. We got a 10-game winning streak we’re going to go on. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
The Eagles need another win within the division. Graham could give them some much-needed depth on the defensive line against the Cowboys.