PHILADELPHIA - Veteran linebacker Akeem Jordan began training camp last month as a long shot just to make the Eagles' regular-season roster.
Now he's a starter.
When the Eagles' first-team defense took the field Sunday night for the team's Flight Night practice at Lincoln Financial Field, Jordan had replaced Brian Rolle as the weakside linebacker.
"There's a lot of competition at linebacker," said Jordan, who is entering his sixth season with the Eagles. "We are all just trying to go out there and make plays. We're trying to beat out each other, and everyone knows there is a lot of competition. I've been blessed to be put in this position. It comes with hard work and playing to the best of your ability."
Jordan, 26, has been in this position before. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder has started 27 games for the Eagles since joining the team as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He even started the first eight games of the 2009 season at weakside linebacker before suffering a knee injury.
When the Eagles reported to Lehigh University in late July, however, Jordan was considered the third-string player at that spot behind Rolle and Jamar Chaney. When Chaney suffered a strained hamstring two weeks ago, Jordan moved up. On Sunday, he replaced Rolle, who started the final 13 games of last season as a rookie.
"I was surprised (at the demotion) because I thought I was playing pretty good," Rolle said. "But I don't make the decisions. It is what it is."