Eagles' Ronald Darby Says He'll Be Ready for Week 1 After Torn ACL Recovery

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2019

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 30:  Ronald Darby #21 of the Philadelphia Eagles plays against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Ronald Darby tore his ACL in early November, but the Philadelphia Eagles cornerback told reporters on Wednesday that he expects to be ready for Week 1.

Jeff McLane @Jeff_McLane

#Eagles CB Ronald Darby told reporters that he was optimistic about training camp. Expects to be ready for Week 1. Coming back from a torn ACL.

Cornerback remains an open competition for the Eagles, though they don't have a shortage of options at the position heading into the 2019 season, from Darby and Jalen Mills—last year's starters to begin the season—to players like Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas.

Maddox and Douglas played well down the stretch for the Eagles last season, solidifying the corner position after a number of injuries left the team hurting for depth, while Jones has continued to impress during the team's organized team activities.

"He's got all the talent in the world," veteran tight end Zach Ertz said of Jones, per Andrew Kulp of NBC Sports. "His potential is unbelievable. He's gotta come in here and put in the work and I think he's been doing that all offseason from what I've seen."

Brandon Lee Gowton @BrandonGowton

Most impressive players in the spring per Doug Pederson: Offense — Nelson Agholor, Dallas Goedert, Carson Wentz Defense — Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas #Eagles

It seems likely that Maddox will be the team's slot corner this year, with Cre'Von LeBlanc also capable of playing that role, but there could be a very real competition for the starting outside positions between Darby, Mills, Jones and Douglas. Jones and Douglas have been serving as the starters for the time being while Darby and Mills recovery from injury.

So it's an open competition, though Darby will be tipped to eventually earn one of the starting gigs.

Dave Spadaro @EaglesInsider

CB Ronald Darby is pleased with his recovery from knee injury, says he is hitting “22 miles per hour” running and is looking forward to getting back on field. Very positive report from a key Eagle. https://t.co/dTKKez7gxw

Les Bowen @LesBowen

Ronald Darby: “Speed don’t go nowhere, you just gotta wake the muscles back up.” Hopes to have knee ready for start of the season. https://t.co/4B3xBcApCo

The 25-year-old appeared in nine games for the Eagles last season, registering 43 tackles and an interception. That earned him a grade of 70.6 from Pro Football Focus, 38th among cornerbacks.

The Eagles brought him back on a one-year, $8.5 million prove-it deal. Play well in the 2019 season and Darby could be in line for a lucrative contract next offseason, either via an extension with the Eagles or on the open market. 

But first, Darby needs to rehabilitate his knee and earn a spot atop the depth chart. Given the depth in Philadelphia, the latter isn't a guarantee, though it's hard to imagine the Eagles shelled out big money without intending to give him every opportunity to win his job back.