Eagles’ Jordan Davis taking ups and downs of rookie season in stride

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Davis taking ups and downs of rookie season in stride originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Some players would be frustrated if they were in Jordan Davis’s shoes.

Davis has taken it all in stride.

Through all the ups and downs of his rookie season, Davis has kept his same positive outlook.

And for a guy who just turned 23 earlier this month, he seems to have a refreshing perspective.

“I’m excited for playoffs,” Davis said late last week as the Eagles waited to find out that they would play the Giants in the division round. “I’m excited to be a part of this team and make it the first year.

“There’s a lot of players that’s been in the league and they haven’t made it to the playoffs or they made it years down the road. So I’m just grateful to have this first-year experience and just be a part of a great program. Just keep your mind, body and soul right.”

There were some pretty lofty expectations on Davis when the Eagles drafted him with the 13th overall pick in the spring. And just when it looked like his rookie season was really about to take off, Davis suffered a high ankle sprain in late October and landed on IR.

By the time Davis was ready to return to action a month later, he had lost his starting spot to veteran nose tackle Linval Joseph, who was brought in during that absence.

Joseph, 34, has played well since joining the team. And even though Davis has gotten a few snaps that aren’t coming over center, there’s just not a lot of work to go around for two nose tackles.

“Same thing at Georgia. It’s never really about starting,” Davis said last week. “It’s about the rotation and getting in where you fit in. When you do get in, whether that’s for 10, 2, 1 play, you want to make sure you do it to the best of your ability. I think that’s a standard that I hold.

“It’s not like they’re trying to hold off or keep me off the field. That’s just how the scheme is going. That’s what we did and that’s why we’ve found recent success in that. At the end of the day, I’m grateful for [Linval Joseph]. I’m learning a lot from him, from Javon (Hargrave) and Fletch (Cox) and (Ndamukong) Suh.”

In addition to dealing with that high ankle sprain earlier in the season, Davis also suffered a concussion against the Cowboys and had to leave after just nine snaps.

That high ankle sprain was tough to get over, especially for a big guy like Davis, who is listed at 6-foot-6, 336 pounds.

In the six games since Davis has been back, he’s averaging just 11.6 snaps per game and has just four combined tackles in 70 snaps.

“It’s definitely a work in progress, especially dealing with a nagging injury like an ankle,” Davis admitted. “I just try to go hard, do my best and let the coaches coach and get better from there. I don’t really spend too much time dwelling and thinking about what I did. I’m just thinking about the next thing. I think that’s the nature of the beast.”

Still, the future seems extremely bright for Davis. He has all the physical tools and has flashed them at times throughout the season.

Davis, at least for now, has a somewhat limited role in the Eagles’ defense. But he plays a position where it can take a while for guys to hit their ceilings. Davis just turned 23 and at least his outlook is ideal.

He’s grateful to be in the playoffs and grateful to play his role, whatever that might be.

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