Eagles OLB Philip Hunt undergoes ACL surgery, likely done for season
However, the injury bug visited the Eagles again this week, bringing equally dire consequences this time around as well. Outside linebacker Phillip Hunt become the latest Eagles player – fourth on the squad and second on the defense – to suffer a torn ACL.
But unlike the previous three ACL injuries, Hunt did not go down at the NovaCare facility, where the Eagles are holding their training camp practices. In fact, Hunt tore his left ACL at Lincoln Financial Field, during the Eagles’ 31-22 preseason opener loss to the New England Patriots.
It was a well-known fact that Hunt had not been practicing since last Friday’s game against the Patriots. But the true extent to the nature of the injury was not known up to this point since the Eagles previously only described it as a knee injury. Hunt underwent surgery on Thursday to repair his partially-torn left ACL, which will likely rule him out for the remaining season.
This could put Hunt’s roster spot in jeopardy, even though he had been practicing on the second-string defense alongside Brandon Graham. Veterans Trent Cole and Connor Barwin are the other projected starters immediately behind the Eagles’ defensive line.
However, entering his third-year in the NFL Hunt was trying to make the transition from defensive end in a 4-3 alignment to outside linebacker, at a position where he hasn’t previously played, which puts him on the bubble.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Hunt, who played collegiately at Houston and went undrafted in 2009 sent two season setting sack records for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, before he was picked up by the Eagles in 2011. As a rookie, Hunt played in nine games for the Eagles, recording two sacks. Despite an impressive camp and a strong preseason showing in 2012, Hunt’s early success did not carry through into the regular season as he recorded just one sack after eight straight games of drought.
Hunt’s injury will provide an opportunity for newcomer Chris McCoy to contend for a roster spot, as a fourth outside linebacker. A 2010 seventh-round pick of the Dolphins, McCoy spent the past two seasons in the CFL, amassing 29 tackles and five sacks for the Calgary.
The Eagles also for Washington State undrafted rookie Travis Long, who was signed by the team earlier in camp. Long has experience in 4-3 and 3-4 defenses from his college days at Washington State.