Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks will miss the remainder of the 2017 season after suffering a ruptured Achilles in Monday night’s victory over the Redskins, head coach Doug Pederson announced today. Zach Berman and Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer first reported last night that Hicks had injured his Achilles.
Hicks, 25, has been a full-time starter for most of his time in Philadelphia, but he’s only played 70% of the club’s defensive snaps this season. That’s largely because the former third-round pick has left two previous games with injury, allowing fellow linebacker Mychal Kendricks to see more time. After offering excellent production from 2015-16, Hicks has thus far graded as only the No. 54 linebacker among 81 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus, but it’s fair to assume Hicks’ health questions have affected his performance.
Even after Hicks is placed on injured reserve, the Eagles will still have six linebackers available on their defensive depth chart. Kendricks and Nigel Bradham figure to continue leading the unit in snaps, but Najee Goode, Joe Walker, Nathan Gerry, and Kamu Grugier-Hill could all more candidates to see more playing time. Kendricks, notably, was inactive on Monday with an injury of his own, and the rest of Philadelphia’s ‘backers have played mostly on special teams.
The Eagles don’t have a linebacker on their practice squad to promote, but they could scour the free agent market in search of a Hicks replacement. Just last week, Philadelphia auditioned veteran defenders Sean Spence, Donald Butler, and Jelani Jenkins, any of whom could become a reinforcement for the Eagles No. 14-DVOA-ranked defense. Other free agent linebackers include Perry Riley, Erin Henderson, Audie Cole, and Philip Wheeler.
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