Lindley, Graham and the Eagles' rookies

DE Brandon Graham is one rookie the Eagles are counting on as they focus on winning the NFC East. (Clem Murray/Staff File Photo)

On Nov. 21, 2009, Brandon Graham's football season was over.

Michigan fell to Ohio State, and Graham's focus turned to getting ready for the NFL.

Now, a year later, the stretch run of his football season is just beginning.

Graham is one of several rookies the Eagles are counting on as they focus on winning the NFC East and establishing themselves as a legitimate contender in the NFC.

Of the 13 players the Eagles selected in April's draft, 10 have at least dressed at one point or another this season: Graham, Nate Allen, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Trevard Lindley, Keenan Clayton, Mike Kafka, Clay Harbor, Riley Cooper, JaMar Chaney and Kurt Coleman.

Three have started (Graham, Allen and Coleman) and at least two more (Lindley and Harbor) figure to play fairly significant roles down the stretch.

The Eagles announced Saturday morning that Asante Samuel will not make the trip to Chicago. That means Lindley will likely get on the field in nickel situations.

On the season, the Birds have gone with their nickel defense about 43 percent of the time.

Lindley has been active for five games this season: Weeks 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9. He's played a total of 27 defensive snaps, but will be counted on to play well on Sunday afternoon.

As for Graham, he played over 72 percent of the snaps last week, with Juqua Parker sidelined. He figures to see just as much playing time tomorrow.

On the season, Graham's played more than 56 percent of the defensive snaps. Only Trent Cole has played more among defensive linemen.

As for the Eagles' other rookies, Allen will obviously continue to start at free safety, and Coleman will fill in if Allen or Mikell goes down.

Te'o-Nesheim has been inactive for the last three games. Clayton has been active for three straight after not dressing for the first seven. Harbor has been used as the second tight end in the last two (more on him here). And Cooper is the fourth wide receiver (12 snaps last week against the Giants).

You can follow Moving the Chains on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for even more Birds coverage, including app-exclusive videos and analysis. Get it here.