Eagles' Hicks looks healthy at training camp

"I feel like I'm stronger than I was and faster than I was."

Ed Benkin
July 31, 2018 - 3:33 pm
The Philadelphia Eagles Jordan Hicks

Ed Benkin/KYW Newsradio

Categories: 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Jordan Hicks was one of several Eagles forced to watch the Super Bowl from the sidelines.

Hicks' season came to an end in 2017 when he suffered an Achilles tendon injury during a game against Washington in late October. It was the second season-ending injury in three years for the talented linebacker, who also tore his pectoral in 2015. It would be fair to say there is concern whether or not Hicks can stay healthy, but he has made it clear that his injuries are in the past and the future looks bright heading into the 2018 season.

"I actually feel better right now," said Hicks. "I don't know if it's a combination of having all that time off and getting my body as good as it possibly can. I feel like I'm in better shape. I feel like I'm stronger than I was and faster than I was. We worked hard in my rehab."

A healthy Hicks would be a huge boost to the Eagles' defense. It would also help the position which may have the most questions heading into the 2018 campaign. The Eagles will be without Nigel Bradham for Week 1 due to a suspension, and also parted ways with Mychal Kendricks. However, Hicks has proven to be a dominating presence on the field when healthy. Hicks has looked impressive enough in camp to allow defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to move his linebacker all over the field.

"I think this is the time for that," Hicks said. "You learn, and you're trying to get better at everything you possibly can during camp. Being able to switch positions around and get some different looks and different snaps is always good. You never know what's going to happen."

When Bradham returns in Week 2, the combination of Hicks and Bradham will give the Eagles quite a one-two punch at linebacker. Bradham will often add emotional fire to the field while Hicks acts as a calming influence. Both players are proven playmakers who work well together on the field.

"We just meshed together," said Hicks. "It's two guys out there who understand the game of football, but we bring separate things to the table. It's a lot of fun playing with him. I have a blast. He's made me a better player, and I've made him a better player."   

Hicks continues to pass each test and check off the boxes as training camp progresses. On Tuesday, the Eagles put on the pads for the third straight practice. Hicks stayed stride for stride with Zach Ertz on one long throw and knocked the pass away before Ertz could get his hands on the ball. There was also live tackling to the ground for the first time, something which Hicks had been looking forward to from day one of camp. There is every indication Hicks is ready to put together a dominating season.

If he can stay healthy.

"It's finally football," Hicks said. "It's been a while for me. It's crazy. It's come a long way and it feels good."