PHILADELPHIA ( — Back on Friday of last week, a day after the Eagles improved to 5-1 after a big win over the Carolina Panthers, Doug Pederson downplayed an ankle injury to starting middle linebacker Jordan Hicks.

"Jordan's going to be okay," the coach claimed. "And we'll expect him this next week in practice."

Actions speak louder than words, however, and Philadelphia worked out three veteran linebackers on Monday: Donald Butler, Sean Spence and Jelani Jenkins, a clear indication that there may be more to the injury than first thought.

In Charlotte, second-year player Joe Walker handled Hicks' duties in the base defense while Nigel Bradham shifted in the nickel and Mychal Kendricks stepping into the defense in Bradham's typical role.

Bradham, who also was forced to leave for a bit against Charlotte due to what appeared to be a stinger, and Kendricks were spectacular against the Panthers and would continue to be the players getting most of the work if Hicks is absent for any period of time.

Butler has extensive starting experience with the then-San Diego Chargers while Jenkins and Spence have started for Miami and Pittsburgh respectively.

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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