Eagles place Dean on IR in linebacker roster shuffle

Eagles place Dean on IR in linebacker roster shuffle originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles on Tuesday afternoon made a flurry of roster moves, including placing starting middle linebacker Nakobe Dean on Injured Reserve.

Dean will miss at least the next four weeks but is expected to return this season.

“Just thankful that it’s not longer than that because these things can be worse,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said on Monday. “Just thankful that it’s not a season-ending injury.”

In addition to placing Dean on IR, the Eagles signed Nicholas Morrow to the active roster from the practice squad and replaced his spot on the practice squad by signing veteran Rashaan Evans.

Dean, 22, made his first career NFL start on Sunday afternoon at New England and played the first 49 snaps of the game before suffering a foot injury. It was the first extended playing time of Dean’s career and he played quite well, especially against the run.

Without Dean, the Eagles went with Zach Cunningham and Christian Elliss to finish the game at linebacker. The Eagles began the season with just three linebackers on their 53-man roster. Elliss and safety Reed Blankenship took over green dot responsibilities, getting the defensive play calls from the sideline.

It seems likely that the Eagles will start Elliss and Cunningham on Thursday night against the Vikings, but Morrow should be active too. Morrow entered training camp as the favorite to win a starting job but the Eagles added Cunningham on Aug. 6 and Elliss offers more on special teams.

“Really confident in [Morrow],” Sirianni said. “That’s why he’s on our 69-man roster. It’s because we believe in him. We believe in the things that he can do. We believe in his style of play, his physicality, being able to line up the defense. A lot of confidence in Nick, and if he has to go in that role, we’re excited, I’m excited to watch him roll and for his opportunity.”

Evans, 27, was a first-round pick out of Auburn back in 2018. After spending the first four years of his career with the Titans, Evans started all 17 games for the Falcons in 2022. In his career, Evans has 76 games and 67 starts under his belt and had a career-high 159 tackles in 2022. But this summer he wasn’t even in a camp, so he has some catching up to do.

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