Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver A.J. Brown To Miss Wildcard Round

The Philadelphia Eagles will have to survive the first round of the playoffs without one of their very best players. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown will miss Monday night's matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a knee sprain suffered in Week 18.

Brown went down clutching his knee in the first quarter of the Eagles' 27-10 loss to the New York Giants. He was assisted to the locker room and never returned to the game. He finished his day with a single catch for nine yards. Schefter notes that Brown could be available in the Divisional Round should the Eagles advance.

Brown's unavailability is a crushing turn of events for an Eagles team that's already limping into the playoffs: they lost five of their final six games after starting their season 10-1. Their offense has dropped from 28.1 points per game last year to 25.5 this season and seen their giveaways explode from 19 to 28, and their defense is allowing 25.2 points per game this season after holding opposing offenses to 20.2 last year. 

For his part, Brown has been one of the league's very best receivers since the Eagles traded for him in 2022 and has largely maintained his stellar play from last year. His 1456 receiving yards this season were the second-most in franchise history, trailing only his 1496 receiving yards in 2022. 

Beyond that, Brown is perhaps the player most responsible for quarterback Jalen Hurts emergence as a franchise quarterback. From 2020 to 2021, Hurts averaged 140.2 passing yards per game and 6.46 net yards per attempt. He's up to 236.2 passing yards per game and 6.63 net yards per attempt over his last 32 starts. Brown's unavailability will be a real test of how much Hurts has truly progressed over the past couple of years.

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