‘Thank God I Didn’t Tear Fletcher’s ACL’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

For Fletcher Cox’s birthday last year, Connor Barwin wheeled a bicycle over to his teammate’s locker and presented him with the shiny new gift.

For a couple seconds Sunday against the Rams, Barwin thought he might have ended Cox’s season.

The Rams faced a 3rd-and-12 from their own 18. Quarterback Austin Davis dropped back to pass, couldn’t find anyone open and took off scrambling to his right.

“I was dropping in coverage, and I knew it was third-and-long,” recalled Barwin. “If he tucked the ball, he had a ways to go. So he tucked it, I saw him coming, and he slid.”

Davis slid feet first, which meant he was down automatically, and defenders didn’t have to touch him.

“You can’t really hit the quarterback when he slides, so I jumped over to avoid him, avoid the penalty,” Barwin continued. “And Fletcher’s standing right there.”

Barwin took his teammate out in what looked like an inadvertently vicious hit on film. He immediately feared the worst.

“I was chasing from behind, and I know Connor was trying to stop him from getting the first down,” said Cox. “…Normally if I feel anybody around my knees or lower body area, my thing is to just fall. Try not to get caught straight-legged. It scared the both of us.”

“Thank God I didn’t tear Fletcher’s ACL,” said Barwin. “It sure looked like it did when it happened. I thought I might have when it happened. But he’s got flexible knees and ankles and he’s alright.”

After a second, Cox got up off the ground, and the teammates retreated to the sideline.

“I was yelling at him, ‘You better not be hurt!’ ” said Barwin. “And I think for a second, he was kind of just in shock. Then he’s like, ‘Alright, I’m good’ and just got up.”

A scary moment turned out to be nothing for two of the Eagles defenders who have played very well through the first five games of the season.