Eagles linebacker Marcus Smith injures hamstring; MRI Friday

PHILADELPHIA – Linebacker Marcus Smith, the Eagles’ 2014 first-round draft choice in 2014, injured a hamstring during Thursday’s practice session with the Baltimore Ravens.

Smith is scheduled for an MRI exam on his right leg Friday.

During a kickoff drill, Smith was running downfield toward the Ravens’ return man. He was engaged with a blocker. Smith fell to the ground near midfield. Members of the Eagles’ athletic training staff rushed out to attend to him.

Smith limped off the field with the help of the training staff. He sat behind the sideline for a few minutes, then left the field in the front seat of a cart.

The Eagles are hoping Smith can contribute this season after a mostly idle rookie season. Travis Long, who was in line to be the team’s primary backup outside linebacker, tore his ACL early in training camp. That opened up a spot for Smith, who played well in Sunday’s preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

Smith, 23, was selected with the 26th pick in the 2014 draft. At Louisville, Smith finished his college career with 24 sacks.

When he got to Philadelphia, Smith couldn’t beat out Connor Barwin, Trent Cole and Brandon Graham for a spot in the outside linebacker rotation. Because of injuries to DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks and Najee Goode, Smith moved to inside linebacker during the season.

In the offseason, the Eagles released Cole and promoted Graham to a starting job opposite Barwin. That created an opportunity for someone to fill Graham’s role as the primary backup at both outside positions. Long, who also tore his ACL last summer, was the first in line for the job.

Vinny Curry, who has played defensive end previously, has been getting work at outside linebacker during camp. The Eagles have added a handful of candidates at outside linebacker since training camp began. Diaheem Watkins, Deontae Skinner and Dasman McCullum each joined the team in the last two weeks. Special-teams mainstay Bryan Braman is also likely to be on the 53-man roster.