Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said on Sunday prior to the Eagles' Training Camp practice at Lincoln Financial Field that while linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill will be sidelined with a lower-body injury – reportedly a knee sprain – the "good news is we'll get him back eventually."
Schwartz's job is now to prepare the rest of the linebackers to step up in Grugier-Hill's absence. There is plenty of time with the entire preseason slate ahead starting Thursday at home against Tennessee. The Eagles signed linebacker Asantay Brown on Sunday morning as Nigel Bradham and Paul Worrilow are also not full participants in practice.
Schwartz indicated that if Nathan Gerry's role expands, the Eagles have plenty of faith in the third-year player.
"We won some important games down the stretch last year with Nate Gerry as the starting linebacker," Schwartz said. "We're certainly confident putting him in the game and he has confidence in himself. One thing about him is he'll be ready."
Here are some other news and notes from Schwartz's press conference:
On the opportunity to practice in front of the fans at Lincoln Financial Field: "It gives us sort of a nice lift in the dog days of Training Camp. Players get to come out here, particularly young players that have never experienced it, see where their lockers would be. ... It's even good to test your communication. We have music at practice but guys sort of talk over the music, but it's hard to talk over whatever (number of fans) we'll have."
On the signing of S Johnathan Cyprien: "We're going to plug him in a lot of different places. We expect a lot from our safeties. We need multidimensional players. We think he is. We'll just see where it takes us."
On the importance of the preseason: "Playing time is probably a little bit more limited in the preseason games, but the task is still the same – get ready for the regular season. I think we're a little bit smarter about it." He included an anecdote of growing up as a Baltimore Colts fan. In the sixth and final preseason game of 1978, the Colts inserted starting quarterback Bert Jones into the game to win it. Jones suffered a separated shoulder that ruined not only his season but the team's chances of making the playoffs for the fourth straight year.