I mentioned this in the game preview, but I figured it was worth expounding on...
The report said that Gaither, a fifth-round draft pick out of Tennessee, would make his first NFL start tonight when the Eagles play the Carolina Panthers at Lincoln Financial Field. Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson made no mention of a lineup change during practice last week, but a move at the outside linebacker position should not come as a surprise given how poorly the Eagles' run defense has played in the last month.
Gaither, despite being the seventh of eight draft picks by the Eagles, is the team's only rookie to appear in every game this season. His primary contributions have come on special teams, although he did get some time at linebacker in games against San Francisco, Green Bay, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.
At 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, Gaither is bigger than McCoy, who is listed at 5-11 and 230 pounds. That's interesting because middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter mentioned after the Eagles' loss to the Colts that the defense is on the small side.
Apparently they'll be at least a little bigger tonight.