The Philadelphia Eagles had a major question mark on the interior of the offensive line before deciding to bring back Stefen Wisniewski over the weekend. Philadelphia had its starting offensive line set at both guard spots with Isaac Seumalo (left guard) and Brandon Brooks (right guard), but questions arose with the Eagles Pro Bowler.
Brooks has hinted he’ll be ready by Week 1 after suffering a torn Achilles in January, but Wisniewski’s return gives him more time in his recovery. Wisniewski can fill in at right guard while Brooks continues his amazing progress from the Achilles injury, solving a major problem on the Eagles offensive line that existed since they declined his option in March.
The Eagles were thin at guard behind Brooks with Matt Pryor in line to play right guard if Brooks wasn’t ready for the season. Pryor has a ton of potential, but has never played a NFL regular season snap, which shows how valuable Brooks is toward the Eagles success.
Philadelphia had no other options at right guard if Brooks wasn’t ready and there wasn’t many options available. Wisniewski was the top option because he spent two seasons in the system and he played both guard and center for the Eagles.
Wisniewski started 18 games for the Eagles at left guard over the past two seasons and has rotated at both guard spots throughout his NFL career. Not to mention he also started 87 games at center before coming to Philadelphia in 2017, providing a legitimate backup option behind Jason Kelce in case the All-Pro center were to go down.
The Eagles had no backup options behind Kelce if the 31-year old suffered an injury as Seumalo was the only other player with experience at center on the roster. Seumalo could move to center for Kelce, but who would fill his spot at left guard? Pryor has strictly played right guard in his rookie season, so he wasn’t a viable option at this point.
If the Eagles were to move Seumalo to center, Wisniewski is available to fill the spot at left guard. Wisniewski allowed 15 pressures in 412 pass blocking snaps in 2018 (one sack and 14 hurries). He graded at a 54.6 by Pro Football Focus (61.0 pass, 50.8 run) in 643 snaps (584 left guard, 54 center, three right guard), displaying his versatility and reliability on the Eagles offensive line.
The Eagles could also just keep Seumalo at left guard and just have Wisniewski play center if Kelce were to go down, so they have the boxes checked there.
The main reason Wisniewski is back is to give Brooks more time to rehab from his torn Achilles, as Wisniewski can easily fill the void at right guard in training camp while Brooks is getting ready for Week 1. If Brooks isn’t ready for the start of the season and needs a few more weeks, Wisniewski is there.