It's been a while since we've heard much from Travis Long. After tearing his ACL against Arizona State in 2012, he sort of faded into the background. While the Cougars celebrated the Apple Cup victory on the field, Long was on crutches and the only sign of him on podium was Mike Leach and teammates holding up his No. 89 jersey.
The injury caused him to fade off NFL radars too. He didn't get an invite to the scouting combine and wen't undrafted. Eventually, he got healthy enough to work out for teams and signed with the Eagles during training camp. Long survived until final cuts, but didn't make the active roster. While Jeff Tuel made headlines early in the season, and went on to start a game for the Bills, Long spent a nameless season on the practice squad.
Now more than a year and a half later, Long is healthy and making an impression during mini camp with the Eagles. He made a big enough impression to have a feature written about him by Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News. Among the interesting notes, Long said his knee had been bothering him for a couple weeks before the injury. the fact he played through isn't a major surprise, he played through injury for much of his career. That included in 2010 when he essentially played the entire season with one arm due to a shoulder injury.
Like other NFL teams, the Eagles are in the midst of their offseason workouts and Long's progress hasn't been lost on Chip Kelly.
"He's really improved," Kelly said yesterday when asked about Long. "I think obviously when we got him, he was coming off of an injury. He spent a year on the practice squad and didn't miss any time. But you could tell he was still recovering from the injury.
"But he has really made some great strides and is a guy that's really pushing hard to make this football team. I think he'll be able to contribute from a special-teams standpoint and add some depth at the outside-linebacker spot. So he's definitely a guy you have to keep an eye on right now."
Long is attempting to make the team as an outside linebacker in Philadelphia's 3-4 defense. The Eagles drafted a pass rusher in the first round, but it still sounds like Long is putting himself in position to make the final 53.
What were Pac-12 North teams' worst losses since last World Cup? - ESPN
Well, there was the 42-0 blanking at Arizona State in 2010. That wasn’t fun. Neither were the three Apple Cup losses in a four year stretch.
Athlon Sports Names Three To Preseason All-Pac-12 Teams - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Three Washington State football players received Preseason All-Pac-12 honors from Athlon Sports, the publication announced Tuesday.
Eagles' Long a sleeper at linebacker
Travis Long plays the same position as Smith, but doesn't have the same roster assurances. He is going to have to make the team the old-fashioned way. He is going to have to earn it.