The seventh-round draft pick was injured in the Eagles’ preseason game against the Steelers.
Linebacker depth was already a concern for the Eagles entering 2016. Starters Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham are all injury prone, and the most experienced — scratch that, the only experienced backup is Najee Goode.
Now that Walker is lost for the season, the middle linebacker’s torn ACL confirmed by Les Bowen for the Philadelphia Daily News, the Eagles might be desperate for help. Other than Goode, undrafted rookies Quentin Gause and Myke Tavarres are now competing with second-year player Deontae Skinner for the final two spots on the 53-man roster. That’s a scary prospect given the injury history at the top.
In fact, the Eagles were reportedly interested in adding a linebacker even before Walker went down. Though nothing ultimately came of the news, two weeks ago the club was said to be in “heavy negotiations” with Stephen Tulloch by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Tulloch would made a lot of sense for the Eagles. For one, the 10-year veteran would instantly become the most senior member of the linebacking corps, a distinction that currently belongs to Kendricks entering his fifth season. More leadership certainly in the room couldn’t hurt.
But the main reason Tulloch fits is familiarity with the Philadelphia defense. The long-time Lions and Titans linebacker played under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz at both stops, often at a high level. Now 31 years of age, Tulloch is not ideal as an every-down player at this stage of his career, but if something were to happen to Hicks in the middle, at least he knows what he’s doing.
The Eagles feel they have at least one quality backup in Goode. If there are multiple injuries, things get dicey. Walker wasn’t even guaranteed to make an impact, but now with him gone, the options off the bench just got even more limited. Don’t be surprised to see Tulloch or another veteran’s name pop up in Philly within the next couple days.