• July 5, 2022

Will Bradley Be Back To Top Form In Year After ACL Surgery?

Stewart Bradley limped off the field yesterday but the Birds say the middle linebacker is fine and only tweaked his calf muscle.

That’s good news for the Birds because they’ll be counting on Bradley to have a big year in the middle.¬† Bradley’s teammate Brent Celek thinks the linebacker looks as good as ever.

“Stew looks good,” Celek said after practice yesterday. “Looks like his old self to me. I was telling him the other day, it doesn’t look like he was ever injured at all. I expect big things out of him, and I think he does out of himself, too.”

That sounds good and I know Celek is rooting for his buddy but coming back to top performance level right after knee surgery hasn’t been the history we’ve seen in the NFL.

I’m alerting everyone that Bradley shouldn’t be expected to have an outstanding year because players don’t normally get back to their top performance level until nearly two years after those ACL injuries.

Is he going to be able to cover Dallas Cowboys All-Pro tight end Jason Witten by himself?  Is it reasonable to expect him to cover some of the speedy backs in the league in this first year after the surgery?

I hope so, but we’ve seen some of the best athletes in the world not be able to play their best football in the first year after the ACL surgery.¬† If the former Nebraska Cornhusker has an outstanding year that will be great, but I don’t think it should be expected.

I thought Bradley was headed to being a very good middle linebacker and I think he’s still capable of being very good but I won’t be surprised if he struggles a bit.¬† This is usually what happens when after these injuries.

I know some Eagles fans aren’t as high on Bradley, because he’s not a great run stopper, but covering the pass was his strongest asset and the NFL game is about the passing game now.

Changing direction at top speeds is what covering the pass is all about and that’s usually the last thing to come back after knee surgery.


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  • Uh…G, I’m not saying Bradley is a horrible LB, but ultimately his Hallmark was the number of overall tackles he had when he was healthy. He wasn’t great against most types of receivers in the middle of the field which is why the Eagles consistently had to shift other defensive players to cover the middle. I guess ignorance is bliss.

  • That’s not true. There’s a reason Bradley is left on the field on third down. He isn’t a liability in pass coverage. They leave him one-on-one on running backs and tight ends. Chris Gocong was the guy getting beaten consistently by opposing tight ends. It wasn’t Bradley. Yes he can improve what he’s done against the run, but he’s been a very good pass coverage linebacker.

  • He will be joining M. Jackson soon on the washed up meat table !! They better start looking for MLB right now ,but they won’t because they know better then anybody else !!! It don’t matter anyway this team is made up of cripples ,average mediocre players who wouldn’t even make the roster on any other team !!

  • I expect Bradley to be able to have most of his mobility/agility back by Oct/Nov or so..
    Remember his injury and surgery happened early August last year so he will have a full year of re-hab,recovery by the time the season starts… He may be a half-step slower and lose a little of his
    explosivenss,but that’s wha happens after having multiple surgeries to your knees like he has endured. As far as Pass-coverage skills, he’s tall,with long arms and had the foot speed to keep up
    with TE/RB and while he was healthy, was still the best cover guy the Eagles has the last few seasons. Now with Fokou, SIms and some of these other younger,faster LBs, the Eagles may not
    need to count on him as much to be in for passing situations like they used to.

  • Realistically, it takes two years to recover from such an injury. I just hope he doesn’t suffer another injury in the process. It’s human nature to stress other parts of the body when compensating for an injury. For example, if a person loses his/her sight, the other senses become sharper (because they’re used more often and to a greater extent). The same holds true for skeleto-muscular injuries. I wouldn’t dobut that Marlin Jackson’s achilles injury is a direct result of overcompensating for the knee. My fingers are crossed.

  • I think Marlin Jackson suffered his recent injury because of previous injury. Onece you favor one area in the game your going to injure another.

  • can any1 say sheldon

  • philly will – get over it. The man hated being in Philly, wanted out, his play was declining. And he’s gone, plays for another team. So what’s your point? They should trade back for him? Like the browns would do that? So forget about it and stop whining.

  • How about Roderick Hood… he’s still floating around I think…

  • I can say Sheldon “can’t stay on the field and when he is, he gets burned by double moves” Brown.

  • schiller please this man wanted to go to cle huh? 2nd marlin jackson o excuse me macho harris ? oh i almost forgot dobbs hahahaha he returns kicks way more valuable joselio hansen trvard lindley and um sheldon brown wtf am i the only 1 that see this i dont give a f if his skills eroded he’s better than them hobbling on the 1 leg he played with last yr and if u disagree please we need not speak football anymore and no i never mentioned trade i said sheldon like ur dumb ass coach ur dumbass Front office let him go wiht huge Question marks all over the place like i said with d5 if ur not upgrading u keep that player u dont get rid of sheldon to start a fucking bum for the sake of gettin rid of sheldon make some fucking sense

  • he got burned last yr on 1 leg he is better than any corner on the birds roster remember how he started the season he was better than ur 10 mill cb he played thru injuries u fuckin criticize players for being lil pus pus and not playing ie. andrews bros yet when u get a gamer and he couldnt sit out for there was no substitute u blast him for playing hurt i could see if this was like the blaine bishop michael lewis situation where u hve an adequate backup but no there was no backup thats y he played wasnt like andy when he let bishop play and get smked 90 yards by a wr who cant beat me in a race lmao and yall trust AR so funny

  • G:

    We struggled at MLB last year and we’re going to struggle again this year. I am just NOT big on Stewart Bradley. I did not see what you saw, and I saw Jason Whiten beat Stewart Bradley, not Gocong. I’m sure Whiten beat Gocong too, but Whiten owned the Eagles’ linebackers. This guy is not pre-eminent. We should be looking around again this year. He may be our best option, but the Redskins are GOING to run on us, and I do not have the faith that our linebackers can stop it. And I don’t know how you do either, frankly. I’m interested in the new guys, so I guess I’ll see at camp, but I haven’t gone anywhere in my continued cynicism about Stewart Bradley. Again, I just don’t see what you do, and I’m stumped about how you can have the opinion you do of the man.

  • Nsid – Kudos for standing behind your position about Bradley. But let me ask you this – didn’t we dominate Dallas the last two games where Stewart Bradley was playing MLB for the Eagles v. Cowboys? And in a game where the Eagles win, most likely shutting down WRs and RBs of Dallas, isn’t it then pretty likely that Dallas is forced to settle with throwing to a very good if not great TE? In a game where Bradley’s main responsibilities were stopping a very dangerous 3 headed rushing attack, and causing trouble for Romo, and Gocong is the main man in charge of covering the TE, but not doing great at it, yeah, a good MLB will let the TE make some receptions. Forget Bradley for a moment, pick you’re favorite MLB. Does whoever that guy is ever get beat by a stud TE? Probably. If you’re watching a game with the lens of trying to be critical of a middle linebacker, you can find something to support your position. But I’ll trust the former LB, who agrees with almost every analyst that Stew was on his way to being a stud MLB – I’m talking WAY beyond the team website – pick a NFL writer/expert/etc… and they all like Bradley (when healthy). Have you considered all of that?

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