Even though he hasnt practiced yet and even though the Eagles dont even know whats wrong with him, head coach Andy Reid remains optimistic wide receiver Jeremy Maclin will be available when the Eagles open the regular season in St. Louis on Sept. 11.
I think hes going to be ready, Reid said. I guess Im optimistic. Im waiting to hear the results, but Im optimistic.
Asked after the Eagles preseason win over the Ravens Thursday night whether hes concerned that Maclin wont be cleared to return in time for the Rams, Reid said: I dont think so. I think hell be fine.
Maclin, who had 70 catches for 964 yards and 10 TDs last year, hasnt practiced yet this summer because of a mystery illness.
With four days off from training camp Tuesday through Friday the Eagles sent Maclin home to St. Louis this week.
Reid said Maclin is undergoing more tests this week in St. Louis as doctors try and determine exactly what is ailing him.
He has to have some tests done, Reid said. His (surrogate) father is a doctor, so that is actually a comforting feeling. He has someone there that he is very close to, and his dad has a good pulse on things, which we encourage, so thats where he had some of the tests done.
Meanwhile, Reid wouldnt put a timetable on when former Giants receiver Steve Smith will be available. Smith, who the Eagles signed Wednesday, had microfracture surgery on his left knee in late December, but Reid again sounded optimistic talking about him.
He had a small microfracture, but all of his ligaments and cartilage was intact, Reid said. His knee is very stable, and hes had no swelling in his knee throughout the whole process. Hes been running, and he starting running routes this past week.
Were just going to bring him back slowly and see what he can do. Well get him in a formal rehab with trainer Rick Burkholder and see exactly where hes at. It could be three weeks, I dont know. I have to see how he does here. We know hes a fine football player, and we just need to get his leg where it needs to be.
Reid reiterated that the Smith acquisition has nothing to do with Maclins illness.
They are completely different, he said. That has nothing to do with Jeremy.
E-mail Reuben Frank at email@example.com.