A summery voyage to a land faraway has gone wrong for Jordan Hicks.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Eagles linebacker injured his hand Thursday while exiting a pool during a honeymoon trip to Greece, per a source informed of the situation.
Rapoport was told that the injury is not considered serious, although there’s a chance Hicks could miss the start of training camp.
Jimmy Kempski of cheapjerseys noted that Hicks sent a “video of his hand, performing an array of motions for [Eagles] doctors to view” after the accident. The team will certainly want to meet with the linebacker upon his return.
Hicks was married June 24, according to his Instagram account, and remains a big part of Philly’s plans on defense.
Since being drafted in the third round in 2015, the 25-year-old defender finished last season as the NFL’s seventh-rated inside linebacker. He also served as a ball hawk, racking up five picks after notching a pair of interceptions — including a pick six — as a rookie.
Philadelphia agreed to terms with its first-round pick on his four-year rookie deal on Thursday.
The defensive end was drafted with the 14th-overall selection out of Tennessee. NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal projects that Barnett will start on Philadelphia’s re-worked defensive line in Week 1.
With Fletcher Cox back at OTAs after a brief absence and Barnett locked and loaded for the next four years, the Eagles’ front seven can finally visualize its potential for the upcoming season. If the early reviews are any indication, Barnett should thrive under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s guidance in 2017.
To that end, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft called upon respected biomechanics guru Adam Dedeaux for a couple of weeks of rewiring early in the offseason. Dedeaux and his mentor, former MLB pitcher Tom House, have enjoyed success with a slew of veteran quarterbacks, including Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Andy Dalton.
As Wentz breaks in new receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith during offseason practices, he’s confident that his long-armed looping windup and shaky footwork have been streamlined in preparation for his second season.
“What made me go there?” Wentz said in an interview with Peter King of The MMQB. “Knowing so many good players went there and it helped them. I never want to stop learning. There are so many little things about playing this position that to the naked eye you won’t see when you watch me. But I do feel I am improved mechanically.”
Wentz insists he’s “way more comfortable” in his second year at the helm of Doug Peterson’s offense.
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“It’s OTAs, I know. But things have slowed down,” Wentz continued. “I’m not thinking about everything anymore — last year I was. Now I can feel the important things early in the play — where’s my answer, what are my options, what will work? It’s a different game when you can dial it down and feel you know what’s important to look for, and you’re not looking at every little thing out there.”
As important as it is for Wentz to master the pre- and post-snap recognitions required of established NFL quarterbacks, it’s just as crucial that he checks in with Dedeaux and Eagles QBs coach John DeFilippo for regular maintenance on his mechanics.
While Blake Bortles notoriously allowed his throwing motion to backslide in a wasted 2016 season, high-profile veterans such as Brady and Ryan are known to fly Dedeaux in for tune-ups during offseason practices as well as game weeks.
“The great ones — and we think (Wentz) is going to be that way — the guys that want to be good are constantly working on their mechanics to make it better,” DeFelippo explained Monday.
No one doubts Wentz’s physical tools, football IQ or commitment to excellence. After finishing his rookie season near the bottom in yards per attempt (6.2) and passer rating (79.3), though, he must demonstrate tangible progress as a consistent passer before he’s viewed as a frontline quarterback — much less a franchise savior capable of ending a six-decade championship drought in Philadelphia.