It was reported on Monday by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Travis Long suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during training camp and as a result will miss the entire 2015 NFL season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 3, 2015
Long signed with the Eagles in 2013 as a rookie free agent out of Washington State.
It is the second time Long has torn the ACL in his left knee, suffering the same injury last season during the preseason in the Eagles game against the Baltimore Ravens. Head Coach Chip Kelly later said that if it wasn’t for the injury, Long would have made the 53-man roster last year.
“We were excited about him last year. Obviously, he got hurt late in the preseason, but if he wasn’t hurt, he would have made our team last year. So he’s really right back to where he was. He’s really contributing well on special teams and he’s making a push toward outside linebacker right now.”
Your heart has to go out to Long. It has to be disappointing to fight and rehab to try and come back from a torn ACL only to experience the exact same injury not two days into training camp.
The loss of Long for the season leaves the Eagles dangerously thin at the outside linebacker position. Brandon Graham and Connor Barwin are pencilled in as the starters, but after that things could get a bit hairy.
After Graham and Barwin, 2014 first-round pick Marcus Smith is the next name on the depth chart. Smith’s problems last year have already become the stuff of Eagles legend and the thought of him starting at outside linebacker for any length of time this season is sure to have fans cringing in response.
Brandon Hepburn from the practice squad and Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo, a rookie free agent, would be the only other options for the Eagles at the position. Both players have yet to play in an actual pro football game so what they could bring to the table is unknown at best.
Expect some shuffling at both the outside and inside linebacker positions as the Eagles deal with losing Long, a player who likely would have made the team this season.