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Secondary Preps For Prime-Time Matchup


As the Eagles prepare to take on the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, a role shift for the secondary could be in the works. For veteran cornerback Leodis McKelvin, a strained hamstring suffered in the Week 1 matchup with the Cleveland Browns, could hinder him from seeing the field.

As of now, McKelvin's hamstring injury is being monitored on a day-to-day basis. McKelvin described his hamstring injury as a "fast guy problem." On the topic of playing this Monday, though, McKelvin is staying "very optimistic," despite not participating in Thursday's practice.

With the possibility of McKelvin not playing against Chicago, there could be room for rookie Jalen Mills to take on the responsibility of serving as the Eagles' starting nickel back.

Despite knowing that he may have a larger role on Monday, Mills said his preparation doesn't change.

"(I approach it the) same way I've been approaching it since OTAs. Just putting my best foot forward and going 110 percent at practice," said Mills. "Whether it's on defense or special teams."

The rookie out of LSU recorded two solo tackles in the opener against Cleveland, but Monday's game will be his first taste of playing in a regular season atmosphere on the road at the NFL level.

"The competition level is going to be that same," Mills said. "We're in the NFL. We're playing against the league guys. They have a great team and we have one as well."

Mills, along with Nolan Carroll and Ron Brooks, will be stacked up against a Chicago receiving group that includes primary threat Alshon Jeffery. Brooks, a fifth-year veteran in his first season with the Eagles, knows that preparing for Jeffery is quite the task, no matter where he lines up.

"You just have to go out and play hard and make sure you try to strap him down his much as you can. You're not going to make every play but try to limit his play," Brooks said of the 6-3, 218-pound wideout who posted over 100 yards last week at Houston. "I don't care where I play, as long as I'm contributing and helping my team."

Meanwhile, Carroll is in the same boat as Mills in terms of preparing for his first test against Cutler, a quarterback he's never faced before. But when he was asked about what he's witnessed from Mills in terms of preparation, the veteran likes what he sees thus far.

"Jalen is mature enough," Carroll said, mentioning how Mills has worked with players like Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu at LSU. "He knows."

It's uncertain exactly how the Eagles' secondary will align on Monday night, but as long as they can find a way to limit the Bears' receivers, the Eagles could leave the Windy City with another win.

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