The Philadelphia Eagles recently worked out three free agent linebackers, according to ESPN.
Source: after LB Jordan Hicks left Thursday's win with an ankle injury, Eagles worked out LBs Donald Butler, Jelani Jenkins & Sean Spence.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 16, 2017
While this news may cause concern regarding Jordan Hicks, it’s worth noting that Doug Pederson said the Eagles’ starting middle linebacker will be able to practice this week. From Friday (October 13):
Jordan's going to be okay. And we'll expect him this next week in practice.
Nigel Bradham also got banged up in the Eagles-Panthers game but he only missed a few snaps before returning. The Eagles could be evaluating some emergency options at the linebacker position.
Here’s a little more info on the players the Eagles worked out.
Butler, 28, is the most interesting name on this list. The 6-1, 244 pound defender was a third-round pick by the then-San Diego Chargers in 2010. Butler started in 62 of his 71 games with the Chargers. He logged 279 tackles, 14 passes defensed, seven sacks, six fumble recoveries, five forced fumbles, three interceptions, and one defensive touchdown in that span.
So what went wrong? Well, Butler’s play declined. The former defensive captain was accused of quitting on the team after receiving a big contract. Butler also dealt with some injury issues.
The Chargers cut Butler in 2016. He signed with the Chargers last offseason before getting cut and then landing with the Dolphins. In five starts and 14 games played with Miami, Butler logged 17 tackles. He wasn’t re-signed.
There’s some talent here, but the Eagles would have to have some level of desperation to bring Butler in.
Jenkins, 25, measures in at 6-0, 243 pounds. He was selected by the Dolphins in the fourth-round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Jenkins has made 34 starts in 53 career games played. He logged 163 tackles, five passes defensed, 3.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles during that span. Jenkins has dealt with some nagging injury issues in his career. The Eagles may have wanted to work him out to check his health status.
The 27-year-old Spence is 5-11, 231 pounds. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the third-round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Spence has made 19 starts in 49 career games played. He’s logged 97 tackles, five sacks, three passes defensed, and one forced fumble. Spence most recently spent time on the Colts’ roster before being waived in final cuts. He was brought back only to be released again earlier this month.
The hope is that Hicks and Bradham are both healthy and the Eagles don’t have to sign any of these players. But if they do, at least there are some players out there with starting experience.