PHILADELPHIA — AJ Brown had the look of a man who’s had a rough week. If only the city knew the struggle Brown was going through just to prepare to play Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.
Brown had a huge red patch over his eye, the result of a burst blood vessel that happened when he was throwing up on Thanksgiving. Brown lost seven pounds as a result of the vomiting, missing practice Thursday due to illness. His stomach didn’t improve until late in the first half, but he still scored a touchdown in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 40-33 win over the Packers.
“I was just grateful,” Brown said as he found redemption for a fumble earlier in the game that led to a Green Bay touchdown. “I just have to be better with the ball. I wouldn’t change my aggression with the ball in my hand because that’s who I am. I just have to do a better job with the details.”
Brown was still feeling the after effects of the illness he had had throughout the week when the breakaway happened. He still wouldn’t let that be an excuse for why he had his second fumble in three quarters — or one more than he had in his NFL career prior to last week.
Instead, the Eagles wide receiver scored the touchdown that gave Philadelphia a two-touchdown lead in the third quarter. Not only did Brown make up for the turnover that ultimately gave Green Bay the lead, but he finished with four catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Brown’s seven touchdowns are tied for fourth in the NFL, while his 15.7 yards per catch ranks sixth in the league.
The Eagles star receiver went through hell just to play on Sunday night. Brown wasn’t happy with his performance, but it’s greatness he’s chasing. Being able to play like Brown did after going through the week he had is what makes him great in Philadelphia — and part of why the Eagles are 10-1 in the first place.
“I always try to make a statement,” Brown said. “I feel like if I’m not playing my best game, I don’t feel like I’m putting my team in the best position to win.
“Personally, I feel like I can be more consistent. It’s ups and downs. I just have to stay in the middle.”