Eagles linebacker Joe Walker suffered a torn ACL in the team’s exhibition game against Pittsburgh on Thursday and will land on season-ending injured reserve, according to Les Bowen and Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).
Walker, a seventh-round rookie from Oregon, made a good impression on Eagles coaches prior to the injury and could’ve cracked the club’s roster. The Eagles are now dangerously thin at linebacker without Walker, as his unavailability leaves them with just five healthy players at the position, as Roster Resource shows. For at least the time being, Philadelphia has Nigel Bradham, Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks, Deontae Skinner and Najee Goode as options.
Given the Walker news, the Eagles now look primed to turn to the open market for help, which was already a legitimate possibility. As of earlier this month, the Eagles and 31-year-old free agent Stephen Tulloch were reportedly negotiating a deal, though two weeks have passed and nothing has materialized on that front. Tulloch, who played under new Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in both Tennessee and Detroit, has 147 NFL appearances and 111 starts to his name. In each of his six most recent full seasons, Tulloch has surpassed the 100-tackle mark.