The Philadelphia Eagles suffered a significant injury during their Thursday night preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers as rookie linebacker Joe Walker tore his ACL and will thus now be lost for the remainder of the season.
Coach Pederson: Rookie LB Joe Walker does have an ACL injury and he won't be able to play this season.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 20, 2016
After announcing the news about Walker on Saturday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson reportedly said the Eagles are currently looking for players at linebacker. Several believe that the Eagles might look to sign current free agent veteran inside linebacker Stephen Tulloch in the coming days with Walker now out for the season. Additionally, the Eagles might look to acquire a young linebacker via a trade, or at worst, watch for a capable player during the final round of cuts a few weeks from now.
Pederson says the #Eagles are looking for players at linebacker
— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) August 20, 2016
With young Steelers inside linebackers L.J. Fort and Tyler Matakevich both playing well so far during the 2016 preseason, it makes you wonder if the Eagles would be interested in trading for the former, who is currently scheduled to be an exclusive rights free agent at the end of the 2016 season.
As Alex Kozora pointed out several, several weeks ago, the Eagles appear to be close to giving up already on young defensive back Eric Rowe, who they drafted in the second-round last year. If indeed Rowe has fallen out of favor with new Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, then Philadelphia should easily be able to find a team willing to take the Utah product off their hands and especially if they can get a linebacker and perhaps even a draft pick in return.
The Steelers and Eagles certainly have a recent trading history between them as not only did the former acquire cornerback Brandon Boykin from the latter last year during the preseason, Pittsburgh also acquired running back Felix Jones from Philadelphia nearly three full years ago in exchange for linebacker Adrian Robinson.
The Steelers certainly could use another young versatile defensive back to groom and being as they currently have too many good young depth inside linebackers on their roster, they might as well see if the Eagles want to take Fort off their hands as he could probably play inside in their 4-3 defense without any issues.
Fort just so happened to register 4 total tackles Thursday night against the Eagles. The Northern Iowa product also had 5 combined tackles in the preseason opener against the Detroit Lions.