Travis Long Suffers Torn ACL
Eagles outside linebacker Travis Long tore the ACL in his left knee and will miss the season, the team announced.
NFL Network first reported the injury.
Long suffered the same injury last summer. Chip Kelly has said on multiple occasions that he would have made the 53-man roster had he stayed healthy.
It’s a tough blow for Long and puts the spotlight directly on Marcus Smith. Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham will be the starting outside linebackers, but the Eagles need someone to step into the No. 3 role. Last year, when Trent Cole started and Graham was the No. 3 OLB, Graham played 43 percent of the snaps.
Smith was a non-factor as a rookie, but the 2014 first-round pick has an opportunity to contribute. He would have been competing with Long for that No. 3 OLB role, but now the door is wide open for Smith.
The Eagles do have some other options. Vinny Curry has taken some reps at OLB. And Billy Davis could get creative in certain packages with Mychal Kendricks or Kiko Alonso. Brad Jones or Bryan Braman could get a look as well.
But if Smith is able to develop and stay healthy, he’ll have a chance to play meaningful snaps in his second season.