Walker Remains Sidelined with Stinger
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Second-year linebacker Joe Walker did not practice for the second consecutive day on Thursday as the Eagles continued preparation for the first leg of their two-game west-coast swing against the Seattle Seahawks.
Walker has been the team's starting Mike LB since Jordan Hicks went down with a torn Achilles against Washington on Oct. 23. The Oregon product suffered a stinger against Chicago on kickoff coverage last weekend.
With Nigel Bradham and Mychal Kendricks serving as Jim Schwartz's nickel linebackers, the Mike position is now essentially a sub-package on the Eagles' defense with Walker topping out by playing 44 percent of the defensive snaps against San Francisco on Oct. 29. He was at 23 percent and 32 percent over the subsequent two weeks against Denver and Dallas.
Walker played eight defensive snaps against Chicago before going down and he was replaced by the versatile Najee Goode, who ended up playing 17 (31 percent.) The recently signed Dannell Ellerbe, who has been inactive over the past two games as he gets up to speed with Jim Schwartz's defense, could also be an option.
"He's still improving," Schwartz said when discussing Ellerbe last week. "He got some practice time last week. I told all our guys, no matter what role you have, you're going to have to contribute in some way. I'm confident that he'll be ready when his time comes, whenever that is."
Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (foot), center Jason Kelce (ankle) and slot cornerback Patrick Robinson (knee), who were all limited on Wednesday, were again participating.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen