Jeremy Maclin Tears ACL, Likely Out for the Season

Jeremy Maclin Tears ACL, Likely Out for the Season

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.

Tim Quarterman: Ben Simmons at PG will 'work out well' for Sixers

Tim Quarterman: Ben Simmons at PG will 'work out well' for Sixers

There are only a handful of people who have played basketball extensively with Ben Simmons, given he has been sidelined thus far into his rookie season with a foot injury. Those who spent Simmons’ freshman year at LSU with him have firsthand insight into the NBA player he has the potential to become.

“He's definitely a team player,” Tim Quarterman said. “He's a pass-first person. He wants to see his teammates do well. I think when he comes back to play, that's what he'll bring to Philly. He's not one of those people who just tries to go out there to get a 100 points. He's a good teammate.”

Quarterman was the Tigers’ point guard during Simmons’ only season in college. Quarterman left school after his junior year and earned a spot on the Trail Blazers' roster. He and Simmons have different stories: Simmons was the first overall pick; Quarterman went undrafted. Simmons has has been out since training camp; Quarterman, while playing sparingly, has experienced live NBA action. Still, the two have shared in the journey of life in the league. 

“It's a cool process going through our rookie season together,” Quarterman said before the Trail Blazers faced the Sixers Friday. “Even though he's not playing right now, he's working to get on the court. I'm sure he'll do great when he gets back out there. I got a chance to talk to him last night. Everything's been good so far.”

The Sixers got a small glimpse of Simmons during training camp before he suffered a Jones fracture on the final day. He recently began participating in 5-on-0 drills. Simmons also has been putting up shots after practice and doing light courtwork during pregame warmups. 

Brett Brown has said he intends to start the 6-foot-10 Simmons at the one spot when he returns. As part of his multi-faceted rehab, Brown has been giving Simmons written tests in which he has to navigate various in-game situations as the point guard. Simmons played point-forward at LSU, where he averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists. 

“He'll be able to space the floor,” Quarterman said of Simmons at the point. “He can see over the defense and make passes that some little guards can't. He can defend. He can move his feet well. I think it'll work out well.”

It remains to be seen when the former teammates will both be suited up in the same NBA game. There is no timetable set for Simmons’ return. The Sixers face the Trail Blazers for their second and final meeting of the regular season on March 9 in Portland. 

“It's cool for both of us to be making the best of our opportunity,” Quarterman said.