Suddenly, the Eagles' linebacker situation looks a lot different, with some uncertainties. The team announced on Tuesday that veteran Mychal Kendricks has been released after six seasons with the team. Kendricks, a second-round draft pick in 2012, started 13 of 15 regular season games played last year, and was the team's weakside linebacker in the Super Bowl run.
With Kendricks released – he did not take part in the team's opening Organized Team Activity on Tuesday inside the bubble at the NovaCare Complex, the defense took a look at veteran Paul Worrilow at WILL. However, Worrilow, signed in free agency after four seasons with Atlanta and one in Detroit, went down during practice and was carted off the field wearing an air cast on his left knee. Worrilow suffered the injury in a non-contact red zone drill and stayed down for a few minutes while the athletic training team assessed his injury, eventually putting an air cast on his knee and placing him on the cart. There has been no update from the team as to Worrilow's condition.
"All three of us just collided, it happened so fast," said linebacker Corey Nelson, who was covering running back Donnel Pumphrey on the play along with Worrilow. "It was something that you can't really try to stop or prevent from happening. His leg ran into my back."
Kendricks' release wasn't entirely shocking, as it had long been rumored given his healthy hit (a reported $7.6 million) against the team's salary cap. In fact, Kendricks requested to be traded prior to the 2017 season, a request the Eagles denied. He went on to play 59 percent of the team's defensive snaps in the regular season.
Should Worrilow be sidelined for an extended period of time, the Eagles have players like free agent signee Nelson, second-year man Nathan Gerry, and third-year man Kamu Grugier-Hill to turn to in this offseason period. The team used a lot of two-linebacker sets last season when middle 'backer Jordan Hicks was injured and Kendricks and Nigel Bradham played in the nickel (one extra cornerback on the field and only two linebackers) personnel packages.