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Jordan Davis admits he fell off in 2nd half of 2023 season

Eagles nose tackle Jordan Davis admits he fell off in 2023 and has a plan to avoid that in the future.

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Jordan Davis didn’t try to hide from it.

As the Eagles cleaned out their lockers last week a couple days after their season ended with a playoff loss in Tampa, the Eagles’ nose tackle admitted what the rest of us saw down the stretch:

He fell off at the end of the year.

“That’s one thing I have to work on is playing consistently,” Davis said. “Have to look in the mirror at the end of the day. I’m a man. I can admit when I’ve fallen off. I fell off at the end of the year. I can admit that. 

“But at the end of the day, we’re human. We have the ability to change that, we have the ability to work and have the ability to get to different platforms we haven’t reached yet. I think we’ll be able to do that. It takes a lot of faith, a lot of hard work. But at the end of the day, I’m here.”

Because of his job as a run-stuffer, Davis will never be judged on his stats alone but his production fell off a cliff during the 2023 season. Take a look at his numbers from this season:

Games 1-7: 2 1/2 sacks, 5 QB hits, 19 tackles (2.7 per game)

Games 8-18: 0 sacks, 0 QB hits, 28 tackles (2.5 per game)

Davis last week was asked what led to his drop-off in play.

“Health. I’ve got to make sure I stay ready,” he answered. “Ankle gets a little (hurt), we gotta work on that. Back gets a little hurt, we gotta work on that. Hamstring, we gotta work on that. Little nicks, bumps and bruises, we gotta make sure we work through those things. I didn’t have an injury that I had to sit out. I’ve been available to play.

“But at the end of the day, I want to be at tip top and at my tip top at every game, every single second of the game. We just have to make sure we do it right. It just comes with the process, it comes with time. My time is now. Our time is now.”

Davis, who recently turned 24, was able to play in all 17 regular season games and the playoff game this season. But he saw a dramatic jump in his snap totals from 224 (26%) as a rookie to 519 (45%) in his second season. That definitely seemed to take a toll on him this season.

Last week, Davis was asked how he felt physically after the grind of a full season.

“My body is beat. I can tell y’all that for sure,” he said. “It’s a long season, long grind. At the end of the day, I know what it takes. I have to do even more. My thing is just progression from year to year. Definitely got better since last year. Planning to get better next year.”

While Davis played 519 snaps this season, he still played less than Fletcher Cox (684), who missed two games, and Jalen Carter (563), who missed a game too. Davis barely played more than Milton Williams (494), who was the fourth man in that rotation.

A big difference between Davis’s rookie season and this year was that the Eagles brought in Linval Joseph during the season last year. They didn’t have that depth this season and Davis couldn’t handle the type of load he’ll need to have going forward in his career.

Because of his size, Davis’s conditioning level is always going to be important. But it’s about more than that. It’s about going to every length to take care of his body in recovery too.

“I’ve been doing good with my massages, been doing good with the tub, been doing good with the sleeves and everything I do at home. Just takes a little extra,” Davis said. “Have to dedicate a little more time, have to dedicate a little more resources, a little bit more energy. But at the end of the day, it comes with learning. I’m learning, just improving. I have to ask guys who aren’t even in this building. … 

“I just have to get back to my roots and get back to the lab. I’m very confident that at the end of the day, when I get my routine down pat, when I get everything down pat, I’m going to be that person that can be reliable and be here for years.”

Cox on Wednesday completely cleaned out his locker and Davis spoke as if Cox definitely won’t be back. The 33-year-old is a pending free agent and after 12 seasons in Philadelphia, he might not be returning in 2024.

The Eagles drafted Davis and Carter out of Georgia in the first round in back-to-back years. It’s not easy to replace an all-time great like Cox, but those two are expected to become cornerstones of the franchise.

“At the end of the day, we’re ready for it,” Davis said. “I’m ready for it. I’m excited for it. That’s a beautiful part of this game. Get to grow, come back next year and get ready to go.”

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