- The defense turned it loose a bit on Tuesday with some live tackling, and middle linebacker Jordan Hicks was where he usually is: Right around the football. He's off to a strong start in Training Camp.
Jordan Hicks called it "finally football," which, for this time of the year, was as close as you can hope to have. The Eagles conducted live sessions during their two-and-a-half hour practice on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex, and for Hicks, that meant he had, for the first time since tearing his Achilles tendon in Week 7 of the 2017 regular season, a chance to tackle a ballcarrier.
And he sure enjoyed it.
"It was great, it was great," Hicks said after practice. "It's football. It's finally football. It's been a while for me. It's crazy. I've come a long way and it feels good."
Hicks, as everyone knows, is a critical part to the Eagles' defense this season at middle linebacker and, perhaps, in some instances at the weakside position. A ball-hawking linebacker who can play all three downs, Hicks tore his Achilles tendon against Washington at Lincoln Financial Field last season and missed the ride to the Lombardi Trophy.
But now he's back and he's making significant progress. That is encouraging news for Hicks and the defense.
"Day 1 was kind of rusty for me, but I feel back in the groove of things. I feel good. I feel awesome," Hicks said. "The speed of the game is right back to where it needs to be and I'm seeing things well."
Hicks has taken all of the first-team reps at middle linebacker in this Training Camp, and he's also taken some reps on the weak side with Joe Walker stepping up his reps in the middle of the defense. The Eagles want Hicks on the field and they want him around the football. They also want to present different looks to offenses with their personnel groupings.
"It's coming along well. I'm encouraged," Hicks said. "At the same time, I know there is a lot of work to do and some preseason games to play. It's a day-by-day thing and I'm pleased with these first few days. I'm right where I want to be."