On November 9, the Eagles placed rookie linebacker Jordan Hicks on Injured Reserve. He may not be playing on the field on Sundays, but he has remained hard at work.
"I love football. Whether I'm playing or not, it's something that I love to do, love to be a part of," Hicks said on the Eagles Insider Podcast. "Being part of a team, this whole environment here is huge. It keeps you positive being around this. It keeps you motivated to push to get back to where you were and to get better during this time. It's been huge for me. It's more mental now, so I'm taking notes, still studying film, still doing everything like I'm playing the game."
Before his pectoral injury, Hicks was a tremendous force for the Eagles' defense. The rookie recorded 54 tackles, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions, one of which he returned 67 yards for a touchdown in the overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Prior to the start of the season, the linebacker was behind Kiko Alonso, Mychal Kendricks and DeMeco Ryans on the depth chart, but he prepared for every game as if he would be a starter. He knew at one point or another, it would be his time to step up. He just didn't know it would be as early as Week 2.
"You never know when your opportunity is going to come," he said. "I had no clue. I was focused on special teams. I was thinking I was going to be a four-core teams guy. As soon as my number was called, I felt like that opportunity, that mindset that I had, nothing was going to hold me back from making the most of this opportunity. That's what I did."
Now, Hicks is focused on his recovery. He's had injuries in the past, ones that were far worse than what he's dealing with now. The linebacker is confident that come 2016, he'll be back and stronger than ever.
"I've had an Achilles and that was rough. I was in a bad place mentally, a bad place physically, just completely tore me down," Hicks said. "I was able to bounce back, have a great season my senior year and come in here and do what I did this year. It's encouraging to see that and it just gives me the mindset that this is so easy compared to everything that I've been through. You've got to be crazy to think this is going to stop me."
Click here to download the podcast and hear the entire interview which delves into his draft process as well as how he's different than veteran DeMeco Ryans.