On paper, the Eagles' inside linebacking trio of veteran leader DeMeco Ryans and young studs Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso look like a force to be reckoned with.
And on the practice field at the NovaCare Complex in South Philly, the three have been proving that when healthy they can be everywhere on the field. But that's when they're all healthy.
All three suffered injuries in 2014, with Kendricks' setback coming early in the campaign but Ryans and Alonso each missing significant time with ACL tears.
None of the four Eagles preseason games will see the three play in the same game (though Ryans and Kendricks did get a little time together in Saturday's Packers game). Should Eagles fans be concerned?
"I don't think it will be a problem," Kendricks said of not playing alongsideAlonso in a game yet."We are all professionals, we practice and we all have the same responsibility. It won't be any different than me and DeMeco in there."
Among the many things in common for these three talented but also recovering athletes is their value to the Eagles. Ryans and Kendricks have new contracts while Alonso was acquired for the Eagles' all-time rushing leader LeSean McCoy. And all three will need to be healthy and productive for the Birds' defense to be better than last year.
"We were in there, being reintroduced to the game," Kendricks said of his first live action of the year against Green Bay."I expected to go in there and try my best, learn some things. I made a couple plays, missed a couple plays. I learned and watched the tape, and will get ready for next week."
"It was okay," Ryans said, also not satisfied with his performance or playing time Saturday."It was good to be back out there. It was just okay, not my best outing but it's something to start from and something to improve on."
Alonso, who sat out the Packers game (but played against the Ravens while Ryans sat)is back in practice and Chip Kelly did not seem concerned prior to Tuesday's session.
"I know he's got tendonitis," Kelly said. "It’s not very pressing. He didn't have any issues yesterday. He'll go out today and tomorrow and we'll see where he is."
Both Kendricks and Ryans expect to sit against the Jets Thursday but Alonso says “It’ll be a nice little tune-up for me,” predicting a handful of snaps.
The squad hopes to be at full strength on Sept. 14 when the Falcons kick off the regular season.
"You can only control what you can control," Kendricks said."Injuries and setbacks those are things you have to bounce back from and we are doing a good job of that."