“Trusted The Process:” Dickerson Confident After Medical Clearance
The Eagles were one of several teams to get a head start on the dreaded roster housekeeping process, announcing a pair of significant transactions Monday afternoon.
They activated veteran safety Rodney McLeod had from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, and in a mild surprise, also activated rookie offensive lineman Landon Dickerson from the Active/Non-Football injury list.
Dickerson, the team’s second-round selection in April, officially joined a talent-laden Eagles offensive line after an arduous rehab process.
”It felt great to be back out on the field,” said the former Alabama standout. “I know I’ve been on the sideline watching, but it’s a tremendous feeling just being able to be a part of the team again. Get back out there, be with my guys, be with my teammates.
“I’ve trusted the process with the staff here – the athletic training, team doctors, and all that stuff. And it’s really been just whenever I felt comfortable and they felt comfortable with me getting back on the field.”
The bruising lineman is still gradually working back to full strength from a season-ending knee injury he sustained in the SEC Championship Game against Florida on Dec. 19 but is eligible to practice with the Eagles. He participated in limited individual drills Monday and will be off with the rest of the team Tuesday, as NFL teams are slated to cut rosters to 53 by the 4 p.m. deadline.
Had he remained on the Active/Non-Football injury list, Dickerson would’ve missed the first six weeks of his rookie campaign.
Now, there’s a chance Dickerson could be on the field earlier than expected.
The 6-foot-6, 333-pounder is a valuable commodity who can play all three interior positions and becomes part of a position group that already features Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Nate Herbig, and Jack Driscoll.
Given the depth along the interior – including expected cuts Sua Opeta and Kayode Awosika – it came as a bit of a surprise that Dickerson’s progress had seemingly been accelerated. It’s still assumed that Dickerson will require some sort of a ramp-up period to ease his transition.
Still, his toughness, leadership, and versatility will be a welcome addition to the lineman room. Though most of his reps will be mental ones at the start, Dickerson will benefit from on-the-job training as a rookie, which should ultimately serve as the foundation of his career.
Now that Dickerson has more clarity on his immediate future, the 22-year-old can focus on getting up to speed and can prioritize his development without reservation.
“I trust the team doctors here,” Dickerson said. “I trust the athletic training staff and coaches. That was the decision they wanted to come to. Like I said earlier, it’s my job to come in every day, get healthy, work out, be in the best possible football shape that I can possibly be.
“So for me, if they felt comfortable with it – I’ve been trying to do my job, stay healthy, stay on top of things – I felt comfortable with that decision, too.”
– Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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