Eagles: Good news, bad news (Jordan Hicks and questions about defense)


How successful can the Eagles’ be in 2017 with a secondary that figures to struggle again and questions about Jordan Hicks’ durability?

Can the Philadelphia Eagles hang their hat on the pass rush in 2017 if there are so many problems in the secondary? Can Jordan Hicks‘ most recent injury be written off as a freak accident or is it a sign of things to come? If you’re an Eagles fan, you can’t act like you haven’t asked yourself any of this at least two or three times already.

Despite completing an entire season injury free in 2016, the recent injury to Hicks’ hand has some revisiting earlier conversations and thoughts about his durability. Then, there’s also the secondary. Training camp is approaching, and everyone’s still discussing their confusion about what the Eagles will do at the cornerback position. How much time should we spend agonizing over either issue?

The good news:

At the time of this article being published, there’s no clear indication that Hicks has gone for an X-ray. Still, everyone’s calm, and just about every report describes the injury to Hicks’ hand as minor. Many are describing it as a four-week recovery process. Based on that, the Eagles starting middle linebacker should be back when on-field team activities resume on July 27th.

Related Story: Hicks injures hand while on honeymoon

The team’s first preseason game is against the Green Bay Packers on August 10th. He’ll definitely be back by then. If there are any setbacks, Joe Walker figures to replace him in the starting lineup. Walker has had some injury concerns of his own, missing the entire 2016 season with an injury.

Still, following a collegiate career that saw him miss time and rookie season that ended with him on the team’s injured reserve, even the smallest injury Hicks suffers will get more attention. He wasn’t competing in a team drill. No one had any pads on. He was, simply, getting out of a swimming pool. That isn’t good.

The bad news:

More from Inside the Iggles

First, let’s start with more good news. Everyone’s excited about this team’s pass rush and the possibility of improving on the 33 team sacks we saw a season ago. There’s just one issue. Without decent coverage, the chances to register sacks decrease.

Everyone knows about the concerns that still exist in the Eagles’ secondary. Patrick Robinson‘s been added, and no one’s sure if Eagles fans will be treated to the guy we saw with the San Diego Chargers (now in L.A.) or someone who’s now a shell of his former self. We figure him to start, but we’re still working out what will happen on the other side. Will it be Jalen Mills? Can Rasul Douglas work his way into the starting lineup? We’ll all have to learn together.

After that, you have Sidney Jones, who will be given a redshirt. Then, there’s Ron Brooks, Randall Goforth, Dwayne Gratz, Aaron Grymes, C.J. Smith and Jomal Wiltz. None of that makes you feel like the long balls aren’t coming does it? Hopefully, everything will improve in year two under Jim Schwartz. Expect more sacks. Expect the secondary to be a little better, but there will be issues. We just have to hope there aren’t too many.

There’s not a ton to worry about on either subject yet, but we’ll all be watching closely. Stay tuned.