NFL Wire News

Eagles LB Hicks gets chance and shines


The Sports Xchange

PHILADELPHIA — Inside linebacker Jordan Hicks of the Philadelphia Eagles figured to be used strictly on special teams this season.

The third-round rookie out of Texas didn’t play any snaps in the Eagles’ Week 1 loss to Atlanta.

But all of that changed because of injuries to linebackers Kiko Alonso (knee), Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) and DeMeco Ryans (hamstring).

The rookie has played 343 of 361 defensive snaps in the last five games, and he’s played very well.

Alonso is expected back Sunday against Dallas. Kendricks returned in Week 7. And Ryans also could be back. But Hicks isn’t making it easy for defensive coordinator Bill Davis to sit him down.

“He’s moved himself up into the (playing time) conversation,” Davis said. “In the beginning of the year, he wasn’t in the conversation, other than special teams and a backup role. But he jumped in and did such a nice job that he’s brought himself into the conversation of a main rotation.”

–Tight end Zach Ertz is starting to become quarterback Sam Bradford’s go-to guy. Ertz has 14 catches in the last three games, 10 for first downs. “I think we’ve kind of taken that next step,” Ertz said. “We always saw the game the same way. But I think now we’re kind of going out there and executing it the way we see it.”

–In the Eagles’ Week 2 loss to the Cowboys, they gained only seven yards on 17 carries. The offensive line was completely outplayed by the Cowboys’ front seven. “That was just a complete (fiasco),” right tackle Lane Johnson said. “And it lasted the whole game. There were some things that we did good. But most of the stuff that did go wrong, we were always one block away from springing it. There’d be one guy messing up and then there’s be another guy messing up. It seemed like we all took turns alternating doing that.”

NOTES: Left tackle Jason Peters (back spasms), who left the Carolina game before the bye, didn’t practice Wednesday, but the Eagles seem fairly optimistic that he will play Sunday against the Cowboys. … Linebacker DeMeco Ryans (hamstring) didn’t practice Wednesday after missing the Carolina game. Ryans hopes he will be able to play Sunday against the Cowboys. … Linebacker LB Bryan Braman (shoulder), who is one of the Eagles’ core special teams players, was a limited practice participant Wednesday. … Running back Ryan Mathews (groin), who has played through the injury the last two weeks, was a limited practice participant Wednesday. He is expected to play Sunday against Dallas, but his snaps will be monitored. … Wide receiver Nelson Agholor (ankle), who has missed the last two games, was a full practice participant Wednesday and should be able to play Sunday against Dallas.

… Linebacker LB Kiko Alonso (knee), who has been sidelined since Week 2, practiced fully Wednesday for the first time since his injury. He hopes to play Sunday against Dallas, but a lot will depend on how the rest of the week goes.

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