The Philadelphia Eagles were disappointed by several of their stars in the past year. One of them was defensive end Trent Cole, who only gave the Eagles three sacks in 2012. However, his hands may not have been healthy enough, but he has reportedly gotten surgery to make them well again.
According to USA TODAY Sports on Feb. 8, Cole had surgery on his hand earlier this week, although the Eagles would not confirm it. An anonymous source told USA TODAY’s Mike Garafolo, and also shared that Cole has been battling hand problems for over a year.
This would help explain part of his struggles in 2012, as he posted the lowest number of sacks in his career. But unlike the majority of Eagles stars, he didn’t miss any games due to injury, although the best version of Cole was obviously sidelined.
At his best, Cole made the Pro Bowl twice and had over 10 sacks in four separate seasons, including three in a row before 2012. But with only three sacks and 24 tackles this past year, he needs to get back on track as much as DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy do.
The surgery will reportedly keep Cole out for part of the spring, yet it wasn’t a major operation, according to Garafolo’s source. He stated that Cole hopes the procedure will “finally correct” his hands. If it does, the Eagles will be all the better for it on defense.
Philadelphia needs Cole to be around and healthy for a while, since he is under contract until 2017. When the Eagles extended his contract last offseason, it appeared to be a no-brainer of a decision. But if the surgery makes no difference and Cole’s stats stay below average, the Eagles may regret being tied to him for so long.
2012 was a year where none of Philadelphia’s stars did well, and even those like Cole who didn't miss playing time were not a factor. Yet with a new season comes new hope that the Eagles’ key contributors can stay healthy, while also getting back to who they used to be at full strength. Now that Cole is on the road to being at full strength again, he can set the example in 2013.