Jordan Davis, Jaylen Carter embracing the growing number of snaps – NBC Sports Philadelphia

They’re playing hard and playing great, and the Eagles hope the former doesn’t change the latter.

There are only two NFL interior linemen 23 or younger who have played at least 440 snaps this year.

Jordan Davis and Jaylen Carter. Davis has played 455 snaps and Jalen Carter 440.

That’s a lot for two guys who have never played that much before and are now at the point where they’ve already played a full college season with the most important games of the year coming up. Starting Sunday in Dallas.

Both Davis and Carter had outstanding seasons, and the two former Georgia Bulldogs teammates are by far the most impressive young inside linebacker tandem in the NFL.

But are the increased click numbers too much? Davis and Carter say no.

“I feel like I handled myself pretty well,” Carter said after practice Friday. “No one has ever told me that I should try harder or anything like that. I feel like I’m doing pretty well.

“Whatever I get, that’s what I’ll get for this weekend. I’ll be happy with what I get. I’ll try to do that with whatever pictures I get.’

Carter has played 408 snaps on defense and 32 on special teams in 11 games, and Davis has played 362 on defense and 93 on special teams in 12 games.

Davis averaged 17 snaps per game last year and is 30 this year. He’s already played over 100 more snaps this year than he did as a rookie, when he missed four games.

In the last month, their number of pictures is higher than ever. Carter has actually played the fourth-most snaps of any NFL interior lineman over the past month. His snaps have gone from 29 per game in Washington’s second game to 52 per game in the past four. Davis went from 27 per game in Washington’s second game to 37 in the last four.

Against the Bills, when the Eagles played 95 defensive snaps, Carter played 76 — the most of any NFL interior linebacker in any game this year. Davis played a career-high (so far) 62.

“We’re about three-quarters of the way through the season, so to be able to play every game and be healthy, that’s huge for me,” Davis said Friday. “Last year I was knocked out for like five weeks or something? So, yes, the season is long, but I feel great.

“We’re on a mission every week and I don’t think about the number of moments. I never even look at them. Whatever they ask of me, that’s what I’ll give them.”

Davis and Carter have been outstanding this year, but their production has dipped a bit of late.

In Week 7, they combined for five sacks, seven tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and 10 quarterback hits.

Over the past five games, they’ve combined for half a sack, one tackle for loss, no forced fumbles and two QB hits.

It may simply be because the Eagles have played stronger opponents. But it’s something to keep an eye on.

There’s still a rotation with Fletcher Cox and Milton Williams, but the Eagles are missing snaps from Kentavious Street, who played an increasingly important role when he was traded. And Cox’s snaps have decreased over the past two weeks as he deals with a groin injury.

It’s a difficult balance for coaches. You want your best players on the field, but you also have to make sure you don’t overdo it.

All four of Carter’s best scoring games have come in the last six games. Three of Davis’ top five have come in the last three weeks.

Both Carter, 22, and Davis, 23, said they are devoting more time to recovery and maintenance than ever before.

“The first thing they told me when I got to the next level was, ‘There’s more games, it’s going to be a longer season, the body might hurt more,’ things like that,” Carter said. “That’s why we have a workout room, a cold tub, a hot tub, a sauna. I take advantage of them every day.”

What helped the most?

“The cold bath,” he said. “I’m still getting used to it. This thing is really cold. This really hits home for me. Whenever people ask, ‘What’s your routine to get your body right,’ it’s the cold bath.”

When we caught up with Carter, he had just finished a cardio session and his hoodie was completely soaked.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I love doing cardio or I’m excited to do it every day, but I know it’s necessary,” he said. “I feel like you can never get enough. I know that in order to get to where I want to be, this is something I have to do. That comes with being a professional.

“I do the treadmill, sometimes the VersaClimber, sometimes the elliptical. It’s all about just moving and getting your heart rate up.”

The Eagles haven’t won a game, so the coaches haven’t had the opportunity to rest guys in late games like they did last year.

One thing is certain. The Eagles need Carter and Davis at their best for the next five weeks and possibly beyond.

No matter how many shots they have to play.

“That’s just the name of the game,” Davis said. “We’re still not where we want to be. We just have to keep doing what we have to do and take care of ourselves and just keep it down.

“The off-season is about getting your body right. Right now we just know it’s a mission every week. Do what you can, pack up and get back to it.

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