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October 17, 2017

Eagles reportedly worked out some linebackers

Eagles NFL

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Philadelphia Eagles worked out linebackers Donald Butler, Jelani Jenkins & Sean Spence. Yates made the linebacker connection to Jordan Hicks, who left Thursday's game in Carolina against the Panthers with an ankle injury.

Doug Pederson downplayed Hicks' injury in his "day after" press conference on Friday. "Jordan's going to be OK, and we'll expect him this next week in practice," he said.

Still, the Eagles could be looking at linebackers as a contingency in case Hicks or Nigel Bradham, who left briefly with a shoulder injury Thursday night, are still banged up. The Eagles could have an open roster spot soon if Chris Maragos' injury is season-ending, as some fear:

A quick look at each of the three linebackers the Eagles reportedly worked out:

Donald Butler (6'1, 245)Butler was becoming a really good player in the NFL when he received a seven-year contract extension worth $51.8 million after the 2013 season. Two years later, the Chargers cut him. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote a scathing piece about Butler, saying that he essentially quit on the team after he got paid.

The Dolphins signed Butler during the 2016 season, and he ended up playing 14 games, starting five. 

Sean Spence (5'11, 231): Spence is an undersized linebacker with unimpressive measurables, but was viewed as simply a good football player when the Steelers drafted him in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft. In the 2012 preseason, Spence suffered a disastrous injury, when he tore his ACL and LCL, along with dislocating his knee cap. He missed both the 2012 and 2013 seasons as a result. He played in 31 games for the Steelers in 2014 and 2015, starting 13. 

The following season, he left in free agency for the Tennessee Titans, where he played in 15 games, starting six. He had 53 tackles and three sacks. In 2017, Spence signed with the Colts, but he could not make their final 53-man roster. Spence later signed with the Colts again during the season, played three games, and was once again released.

Jelani Jenkins (6'0, 240): Jenkins was a former fourth round pick of the Dolphins in 2013. He had his best season in the NFL in 2014, when he had 110 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Jenkins signed with the Raiders this offseason as a free agent, but could not crack the 53-man roster. He was placed on IR and later released before signing during the season with the Bills, who released him a week later.

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