PHILADELPHIA — Not that A.J. Brown is a big fan of individual achievement or anything, but he’s one big day from being recognized for one when the Eagles take on the Washington Commanders Sunday at FedEx Field.
Brown needs one more game of 100 or more receiving yards to become the first NFL player to record six such games in a season since Julio Jones in 2018 with the Falcons. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts isn’t surprised in the least bit.
“He’s an internally motivated person as is,” Hurts said. “Every person challenges himself to be better than they were. I think he’s done that. I think he’s gone beyond measures to take his game to the next level. I think a lot of it has been mental. He’s stayed within himself, and he’s really been eager to take advantage of his opportunities when they come. Just continues to be that selfless player while being hungry and having the tenacity that when his opportunities come, he takes advantage of them.”
Brown is just the third NFL player to produce five straight games of 125 or more receiving yards, one of those against the Commanders.
Washington (3-4) has some issues on the back end of the defense, but it would surprise no one if cornerback Benjamin St-Juste followed Brown all over the field. Montreal native St-Juste is a solid cover corner and a stellar tackler, having missed just one tackle in 28 chances this season. That ranks among the league leaders.
Nick Sirianni on Friday applauded Brown for earning his first player of the week honors from the league and praised him for some subtle contributions, including a block on Dallas Goedert’s touchdown reception last week and attracting attention to get teammates open.
“Everybody knows how good he’s been playing,” Sirianni said. “I think what impressed me the most are the things that he’s not getting recognized for, and how good of a team player he is and what he’s been doing for this team. Not just catching the football and not just being on the field. It’s the things he’s doing that are unseen where other guys are getting the shine.”
The Eagles listed cornerback Bradley Roby as out for the second straight week on the Friday injury report. Defensive tackle Jordan Davis has a hamstring issue and is listed as questionable for the Commanders.
The good injury news is that safety Reed Blankenship will be back in the lineup after sitting out the previous game with a rib issue.
Newly acquired veteran safety Kevin Byard has practiced all week and is ready to step into a role this Sunday, although Sirianni wouldn’t disclose what that will be.
Only the Ravens with 29 sacks and the Bills with 29 have more quarterback drops than the Eagles. Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat have 5.5 sacks each for the Eagles, who have 24 sacks on the season.
Jalen Carter (3.5 sacks) and Nicholas Morrow (3.0) are next.
The Eagles have 18 sacks since Week 4, the most in the league. Commanders quarterback Sam Howell has taken 21 sacks in that time. Howell has been hit 69 times this season, most of any quarterback.
The Eagles (6-1) are 7-point favorites over the Commanders.