According to multiple reports, the NFL’s leading sack-master, Myles Garrett, has been put on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
Myles Garrett has recorded 9.5 sacks so far this season, the most of any player in football. He’s also tallied 31 total tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 14 QB hits. He’s well on his way to having the best year of his young career, and possibly an All-Pro selection at season’s end.
This is obviously huge for the Eagles in this matchup. They’ve surrendered 35 sacks this season, the most of any team in the NFL. Garrett was inevitably going to wreak havoc on the Eagles offensive line. Doug Pederson and his offense really dodged a bullet here.
In Garrett’s absence, the Browns will likely start either Adrian Clayborn or Porter Gustin, who have combined for two sacks this season. Clayborn is the veteran, so I imagine he’ll get the nod here, with Gustin rotating in throughout the game.
Outside of Garrett, the Browns don’t pose a huge threat in the pass rushing department. No one on Cleveland’s defense has over 4 sacks aside from Garrett — Sheldon Richardson has the second-most with 3.5. But, given how many sacks Philly has given up this season, even without Garrett this offensive line can’t afford to overlook the Browns defensive front.
It should be easier to run the ball against Cleveland without Garrett on the field, as well. The Eagles actually average more yards per running play than they do yards per passing play, something that hasn’t occurred in the NFL in 47 years.
A run heavy game plan should be the approach for Pederson and his offense this week, especially now that Garrett is out.
Will he commit to the run game? All indications this season would lead you to say no. But it’s really the only way this offense has been efficient this season, so let’s hope Pederson’s mindset changes a bit as he heads to Cleveland.