Philadelphia defensive end Derek Barnett played in every game as a rookie except the Eagles’ meaningless Week 17 finale, but he wasn’t completely healthy.
Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com reports that Barnett had sports hernia surgery shortly after the Super Bowl. The recovery time was six weeks, so Barnett is believed to be at 100 percent now.
The Eagles took Barnett with the 14th overall pick in last year’s draft, and he played fairly well as a role player, playing 41 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps and getting five sacks. He played particularly well in the postseason, with a strip sack in the NFC Championship Game that turned it from a close game to a blowout, and the recovery of Tom Brady‘s late fumble in the Super Bowl.
This year the Eagles are expecting Barnett to take a step forward and get more playing time, and they may take it easy on him in the offseason to make sure he’s fully healthy when the games count.