Eagles OTAs Day 1 observations: Linebacker suffers serious injury


Updated: 5:55 p.m.

The Eagles began their OTAs on Tuesday morning, but were forced to do so under the roof of the practice bubble because of rain.

Things were a little cramped in there, but the Eagles were able to finish their 1½-hour practice by 1 p.m. The only two guys who didn’t report for OTAs were Michael Bennett and Darren Sproles (see story).

There was plenty of sloppiness in the first session, which is to be expected. 

Here are 10 observations from Tuesday: 

1. The Eagles already lost a player to a significant injury on Day 1. During 7-on-7 red zone drills, linebacker Paul Worrilow went down in serious pain and tore his ACL, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia (see story). He instantly grabbed at his knee and then slammed his fist on the ground repeatedly. The music lowered and the entire bubble became silent as his teammates took a knee and watched. His knee was steadied in an aircast and he was taken off the field on a cart.

Worrilow, 28, signed with the Eagles on a one-year deal this offseason after one year in Detroit. He played the first four years of his career in Atlanta. He’s from Wilmington, Delaware. 

2. Carson Wentz looked good (see story). Sure, he’s still recovering from that torn left ACL, but the Eagles’ franchise quarterback was able to do at least some individual work on Tuesday. Once offensive drills, 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s started, Foles took over, getting all the first-team reps. 

But just seeing Wentz on the field, even with that knee brace, was a pretty good sign. His footwork looked solid. 

After his work for the day was done, Wentz was still engaged and took off that knee brace. He was jogging around without it. 

3. A few other injured guys were back too. Jordan Hicks (Achilles) and Jason Peters (ACL) practiced on Tuesday in a limited fashion, but neither participated in team drills. Brandon Graham (ankle), Mychal Kendricks (ankle and now released) and Tim Jernigan (back) were not at practice, but Derek Barnett, who reportedly had sports hernia surgery this offseason, was on the field. 

With Peters not participating in team drills, Halapoulivaati Vaitai was the Eagles’ first-team left tackle. Without Hicks and Kendricks, the Eagles at linebacker went with Nigel Bradham, Nate Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill. 

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata didn’t practice, but was out there. Fletcher Cox and Destiny Vaeao were the first-team defensive tackles. 

4. Alshon Jeffery (rotator cuff surgery) was on the field, but not participating. Without him, Mike Wallace and Mack Hollins were the Eagles’ top two outside receivers and Nelson Agholor lined up in the slot. Markus Wheaton and Shelton Gibson got run with the second team. 

5. Speaking of Gibson … good start for the second-year player. He made some tough catches on Tuesday, which is important. He got off to such a terrible start last spring and summer that it took him a long time to catch up. He’s the front-runner for one of those last receiver spots this summer. 

6. The Eagles’ top cornerbacks today were Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills outside, with second-year player Sidney Jones in the slot. The Eagles could eventually decide to make Mills move outside to inside, but for now Jones gets a chance to play inside. It’s really a different position, but so far, so good. He was able to stick with Agholor during drills.

7. The first play of today’s practice was a good mood-setter. Foles threw a short pass to Wallace and Darby put a little shot on him as he tried to get to the ball. By the way, not a great day for Foles. He had a couple underthrows; one was picked by Mills and one by Jones. 

8. Rookie Avonte Maddox played outside corner in college, but his size (5-9, 184) had people thinking he’d play slot corner in the pros. The Eagles seem to think that’s possible too. He got run in the slot after the starters were off the field. 

9. During 7-on-7s, cornerback De’Vante Bausby made a pretty great play to intercept a Nate Sudfeld pass intended for rookie Dallas Goedert. But on the next snap, Sudfeld recovered and found Goedert in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. 

Goedert looked pretty good in his first practice but is still behind Richard Rodgers on the depth chart, it seems. Zach Ertz and Rodgers were on the field for two-tight end sets with the first team.

10. Rookie rugby player … sorry … offensive tackle Jordan Mailata is obviously a work in progress. He lined up at third-team left tackle and grabbed fellow rookie Josh Sweat around the neck as he flew past him. That’s a hold, Jordan. Can’t do that. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: Assistant OL coach and former NFL offensive lineman Eugene Chung has always acted as the Eagles’ MIKE linebacker for the scout team during practices. On Tuesday, he showed off his range, playing the SAM. 

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