Hicks Expected Back at Practice Next Week
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — The Eagles have 11 days in between their next game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field and the layoff could prove a positive one for Jordan Hicks.
The Eagles' starting middle linebacker missed the second half of Thursday's 28-23 win over Carolina after suffering an ankle injury but Doug Pederson confirmed that it's not too serious
"Jordan's gonna be OK," the coach said. "We'll expect him this next week in practice."
Having a number of extra days to rest could ensure that Hicks doesn't miss any time. Against the Panthers, second-year man Joe Walker handled Hicks' role in the base defense while Nigel Bradham slid over in the nickel with Mychal Kendricks taking over Bradham's typical role.
Both Bradham and Kendricks were spectacular against the Panthers combing for 25 tackles.
While the news is positive for Hicks, however, it's not as looking nearly as good when it comes to special teams star Chris Maragos, who is believed to have suffered a significant right knee injury. According to Pederson, Maragos needs more tests to determine the severity of the injury but the fear is a torn ACL and perhaps a torn PCL as well.
The upcoming week is also going to serve as a measuring stick for injured cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Sidney Jones as Pederson continues to preach caution with both.
Darby dislocated his ankle in the season opener against the Redskins had a four-to-six week recovery timetable set up for the injury, the latter of which would have had the CB1 back on the field for Washington again on Oct. 23. Instead, the return could be pushed back further.
"As of right now, probably not," Pederson said when asked if Darby would return to practice next week. "But again, he's close. We'll see next Monday when they get back, where he's at again and make another evaluation at that time."
As for Jones, who remains on the non-football Injury list as he recovers from the Achilles injury he suffered at Washington's pro day, he could begin practicing this week but the Eagles aren't in a rush.
"I don't want to rush him back," Pederson said. "He's still doing a good job with his rehab and his conditioning. Want to make sure he's fully cleared medically before we stick him back on the field."
On the offensive side, Pederson believes running back Wendell Smallwood, who has missed the last two games with swelling in his knee, is getting closer and could be a game-time type decision against Washington.
"Wendell's doing really good," Pederson said. "He's another one that we took on the trip and rehabbed him and got him some treatment and stuff. He's another one that, on Monday when they get back in, we'll evaluate. I'll tell you, he's close. And then on Tuesday when the players are in the building, he'll see. He's got some time to rest. I would anticipate him maybe doing a little something next week in practice but not 100 percent yet with him."
In Smallwood's absence, the Eagles have been added Kenjon Barner to the rotation at RB with LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement, something that didn't work out well in Charlotte.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen