Alex Singleton was supposed to be one of the Eagles’ top linebackers this season. He was supposed to build off of his breakout 2020 season and continue to be the rock in the middle of the Eagles’ defense.
It didn’t work out quite like that.
While Singleton began the season as a starter, playing the majority of the team’s defensive snaps, his playing time had decreased over the last month just as the Eagles began to get better. He played just 10 snaps against the Chargers and 10 against the Broncos.
That minimal role figured to continue last week against the Saints but Davion Taylor injured his knee in the first quarter and Singleton was back in the game.
“I was really excited for Alex, because when he got in there, he played well,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said. “And that's really a testament to him to not – sometimes when your snaps get diminished, you kind of –a lot of guys I've seen go in the tank a little bit and that hasn't been him because he's got high football character. And that's the guys we want to be there.”
Against the Saints, Singleton played a season-high 58 snaps. He had 6 tackles, 1 QB hit and 1 PBU.
And now that we know Taylor is heading to IR with that knee injury, the Eagles are going to be relying on Singleton heavily over at least the next month.
Singleton, 27, has a fantastic story. He went undrafted out of Montana State in 2015 and had to go to the CFL to carve out a professional career. He was fantastic above the border but came back to the states when the Eagles signed him in 2019. Even though he didn’t make the initial roster in 2019, he eventually got promoted from the practice squad and became a big-time special teams contributor that season.
Then in 2020, Singleton began the season on the roster as a special teamer but eventually became their top linebacker, piling up 11 starts and 120 tackles.
But when the Eagles were struggling earlier this season with Singleton and Eric Wilson as their top linebackers, the position was flipped. Wilson was cut and Singleton’s snaps decreased as T.J. Edwards and Taylor ascended into the top two linebacker spots.
But give credit to Singleton. His teammates voted him as one of the team’s captains before the season and he didn’t fuss. He just went back to playing on special teams and getting any defensive snaps he could.
“He handled it good,” Gannon said. “He understands that he still had a very big role on this defense and that could increase at any time. And he basically – when Davion, his rep count went up, Alex said, ‘I'll be ready to go when you guys need me. And I'm going to be a star within my role.’
“And that's why he went in there and played well, because a lot of times you see guys that come in and they don't play well, they're typically not prepared to play. And this guy is ready to play all the time.
“And like I said, he's got high football character. And his snaps will increase with Davion being out a little bit and he's going to play well.”
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