NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints starting defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks each had leg injuries within a few plays of one another and each was taken from the field in a cart during the first quarter of New Orleans' divisional-round playoff game with Philadelphia on Sunday.
The injuries mounted even more for Philadelphia in the second quarter, albeit temporarily, when defensive back Rasul Douglas, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and defensive end Michael Bennett all came off the field needing attention. The Eagles announced that Douglas injured an ankle, but he returned. Cox and Bennett also both returned late in the first half.
Rankins, a 2016 first-round draft choice, entered the game second on the Saints with eight sacks. His departure came as the Saints struggled to slow Nick Foles and the Eagles, who reached the end zone on their first drive and were in the midst of a second touchdown drive when Rankins went down. The Saints' defensive standout pounded his fist as he lay prone on the turf and later was ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Brooks was injured just a few plays later, but his departure did not slow the Eagles, who covered 34 yards in the next three plays to take a 14-0 lead. The Eagles announced that Brown was questionable to return with a leg injury.