Eagles middle linebacker Stewart Bradley wasn’t a big name yet, but he was arguably the most important player on the Eagles defense. (Trent Cole and Asante Samuel may disagree.)
After reportedly losing Bradley to a torn ACL, the team will have to regroup.
Omar Gaither, who has started at middle linebacker before, appears likely to take over for Bradley. The Eagles will be giving up run-stopping ability and depth with the move. Gaither ultimately failed when asked to start in the middle in 2007.
Asking Gaither to handle Bradley’s old signal-calling responsibilities is asking a lot.
The Eagles defense is rather deep on the defensive line and in the secondary. They can cover up this injury, but the linebacker position now looks rather thin. Gaither was expected to challenge Akeem Jordan for the weak-side linebacker position.
With an unimpressive-looking bench, the Eagles may look to the free agent wire for some veteran experience.
Heading into the season, the Eagles roster appeared to have all the right pieces in place for a championship run. Joe Banner sure thought so.
They can certainly overcome this loss, but it didn’t take long to lose one key piece.