August 9, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey (22) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Joselio Hanson (21) and linebacker DeMeco Ryans (59) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

LB Shuffle Continues: Ryans Out In Nickel Package

Per Reuben Frank of Comcast SportsNet, the Eagles have made another change at linebacker. Earlier this preseason, Akeem Jordan took over the starting WLB role from Brian Rolle. Now, today, with the first game of the season looming on Sunday afternoon, Jamar Chaney has unseated offseason acquisition Demeco Ryans in the first-team nickel defense. The timing of the move is a bit odd considering the first game is just 3 days away, but you have to think that part of the reason the decision was made now is that Chaney is just getting healthy after missing the vast majority of the preseason with a hamstring injury. Chaney’s got very good speed (4.54 40-yard dash at the Combine in 2010, the fastest among all linebackers that year) which should serve him well in the passing game. Despite a step back last season after a very good close to his rookie season, 2012 will only be Chaney’s 3rd season in the NFL, so he’s still got plenty of upside. And with the starters (Kendricks-Ryans-Jordan) set for now, it’s nice to be able to give Chaney some playing time. This also might mean, however, that the Eagles’ fears that Demeco Ryans’ 2010 Achilles tear is still affecting him. A move like this would suggest that they believe the injury has caused Ryans to lose a step and therefore decreased his coverage ability. We’ll see how this move works out on the field Sunday afternoon in Cleveland.

Nov 13, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney (51) sacks Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton (19) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

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