The Eagles have placed linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill on Injured Reserve, ending what was ultimately an injury-plagued and disappointing season for the linebacker in a contract year.
Grugier-Hill, 25, will need surgery after an MRI on Monday confirmed he has a lower lumbar disc herniation. After a consultation with the team’s spine surgeon, they made a decision to have the surgery.
“It’s huge,” head coach Doug Pederson said of the loss of Grugier-Hill “You know, he’s been a core team player for us early in his career. And obviously here doing the dual role, playing linebacker for us too. Definitely somebody that we’re going to miss.”
After Sunday’s game in Washington, in which the starting linebacker played just a handful of snaps, he reported discomfort in his back to team doctors and they went from there, according to the Eagles.
To fill his spot on the roster, the Eagles promoted defensive tackle Bruce Hector.
Grugier-Hill played a season-low five snaps against Washington, but the Eagles claim this injury was unrelated. Pederson said Grugier-Hill didn’t report the injury until after the game.
Like a lot of players, Grugier-Hill played through injuries this season. While he's expected to be medically healthy in 3-4 weeks, that obviously doesn't mean he'd be ready to play football that soon.
For his season, Grugier-Hill ended up playing 304 defensive snaps (34 percent) and 126 special teams snaps (32 percent). He played in 10 games with six starts and made 22 tackles with one fumble recovery.
This was supposed to be a breakout season for Grugier-Hill as he entered the fourth and final year of his rookie contract but it didn’t go to plan. He’ll become a free agent in March.
Grugier-Hill suffered a Grade-3 MCL sprain during training camp, ending his fantastic summer of expectations. He missed the first three weeks of the season and then began the process of ramping up his workload. Then he suffered a concussion early in the Miami game and didn’t report it until four days later and missed the game against the Giants. Head coach Doug Pederson voiced his disappointment in the way Grugier-Hill handled that situation.
The Eagles claimed Grugier-Hill after final cuts back in the 2016 season. That year they also claimed wide receiver Bryce Treggs and safety Terrence Brooks. Grugier-Hill is the only one to last in Philly.
Not only did Grugier-Hill last, he became a major part of the team, first as a special teamer and then as a defensive role player. Grugier-Hill was the Eagles’ special teams captain in each of the last two seasons.
Now, he’s facing an important offseason coming off a disappointing season capped with a surgery.
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