What a terrible break for the Eagles and Jeremy Maclin. The fifth-year wide receiver had just slipped past the secondary and hauled in a picture-perfect deep pass at practice on Saturday, then the next thing you know he was laying on the grass in a heap.
The news, predictably, was not good. Maclin reportedly has suffered a torn ACL, an injury that apparently happened at the line of scrimmage during a 7-on-7 drill. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Maclin writhed on the turf in obvious pain as trainers tended to him. He would not put any weight on the injured leg once he got to feet, and was immediately loaded on to a cart and taken off the field.
It’s a huge setback for Maclin personally. The 2009 first-round pick was entering a contract year, and it was unclear what the Eagles were going to do with him. He averaged 65 receptions, 863 yards, and seven touchdowns per season over his first four years in the NFL – not too shabby, but not necessarily indicative of a 19th overall draft choice and a big money extension.
This is not the first time Maclin has faced adversity due to health issues. After posting career highs in 2010 (70 Red, 964 Yds, 10 TD), the 25 year old battled a mysterious illness during the offseason that caused him to miss some practice time and come into training camp underweight.
Obviously it’s unfortunate for the Eagles as well, as they must look for somebody else to fill the void opposite DeSean Jackson. The primary in-house candidates consist of Arrelious Benn, who already has a minor knee injury himself; Riley Cooper, who set a personal best with 23 catches last season; and Ifeanyi Momah, an undrafted rookie who missed 2012 recovering from an ACL.
Damaris Johnson (size) and Jason Avant (athleticism) are probably better suited as slot receivers.
Again, just awful news on only the second full day of training camp, before the team even put the pads on and started hitting no less. Sure, it’s not like this year is Super Bowl or bust for the Birds, but who knows if he was headed for a breakout season in Chip Kelly’s offense, and you never ever want to see guys go down like that either way.