Hitchens next man up with Durant down

Rookie linebacker Anthony Hitchens has no choice but to be ready.

Hitchens, a fourth-round pick, is the next man up for the Dallas Cowboys with defensive captain Justin Durant expected to be sidelined for three or four games with a strained groin.

It’s a significant challenge for a rookie who split time this summer between middle linebacker and weakside linebacker. However, Hitchens is confident he’ll be well prepared to start Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

“It’s my job to get ready,” said Hitchens, who worked with the starters in the base defense during Wednesday’s practice. “I think so far I did a pretty good job of it.”

Hitchens only played five defensive snaps in the season opener. He’ll get significantly more action than that Sunday, but his playing time will be determined in large part by how often the Titans operate out of three-receiver sets, as Hitchens isn’t part of the first-team nickel package.

Hitchens acknowledged during the preseason that his head was spinning as he switched back and forth between positions. But he believes that work got him ready to go either in the middle or on the weak side, where he’s need now with Durant down.

“It’s starting to slow down for me now,” Hitchens said. “I’m all good, getting my feet wet and just ready to get better.”

Hitchens next man up with Durant down Hitchens next man up with Durant down Reviewed by Mr. DCStands4 on 5:41:00 PM Rating: 5

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