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Ryans Expects To Play On Sunday Night

When linebacker DeMeco Ryans left Sunday's game against the Rams in the third quarter with a groin injury, Eagles fans were likely worried for the worst.

With linebacker Najee Goode lost for the season with a torn pectoral and linebacker Mychal Kendricks out since Week 2 with a calf injury, there's little room to lose the defense's stalwart in the middle of the field for an extended period of time.

Those fears can be put to rest.

Tuesday, Ryans did not participate in the Eagles' training session, but he said afterwards that he feels good and isn't too worried about long-term effects.

"Just precautionary," Ryans explained, as to why he didn't participate. "I just want to see how I feel. From Sunday to today I feel like I've made some strides. I'm feeling better. If it keeps going like it's going, by the end of the week I'm feeling good and hopefully I can go."

Ryans said his injury occurred on a "weird play" in the third quarter. As he went to make a tackle, a Rams offensive lineman came over the top, trying to finish off a block, and hit Ryans low.

He tried to stay in the game, not wanting to abandon his defense. But at a certain point, Ryans said he realized that he wasn't at 100 percent, and he didn't want to risk making a mistake with the Eagles up late in the game.

"I kept playing, but I saw that I wasn't going to be effective so I didn't want to hurt the team, so I just took myself out," he explained Tuesday.

Ryans doesn't know when he'll be back participating in the Eagles' training sessions this week, if at all, but he said that he isn't worried about lacking practice time come Sunday. If he has to play without practicing  this week, the veteran linebacker says it won't be the end of the world.

"I feel like I can handle it," Ryans said with a smile.

The groin injury is the first of the veteran's nine-year career.

If it turns out Ryans cannot play, that means linebackers Casey Matthews and Emmanuel Acho will be playing both inside linebacker positions Sunday night against the Giants (unless Kendricks can return).

With Ryans out against the Rams, Matthews was the one lining up the defense. Ryans liked what he saw from his teammate and is confident that Matthews can get the job done if called upon.

"Casey's stepped in and he's done a really good job," Ryans said. "He's progressed over the past few weeks, and last week he played his best game."

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