Updates on Mike Patterson, Jeremy Maclin

Updates on Mike Patterson, Jeremy Maclin

Injuries are typically common at Eagles training camp at Lehigh, but this summer squad has been blindsided additionally by a pair of unusual medical conditions for two of its starters. While nothing has been confirmed yet for either Mike Patterson or Jeremy Maclin, we are hearing some possible good news for both.

First, Mike Patterson's agent spoke to certain members of the media on Friday, and while he did not got into great detail, he did allow that it is "very likely" Patt will play this season. Per the Inquirer's Jonathan Tamari:

"All the medical reports that we both looked at have been very
favorable and positive. We're just waiting for the doctors to make their
final diagnosis and their final treatment plan." Asked whether Patterson could play this year, [his agent] said, "it's very
likely that that will happen," but added "again, I'm not a doctor."

Patterson's agent also added they will have more information on Monday, and will make an announcement at that time. The seventh-year defensive tackle has something known as an AVM, which while a serious brain condition that can require surgery, is also very treatable. The Eagles have been hesitant to provide any kind of timetable for his return.

Meanwhile, as fans continue to speculate on Jeremy Maclin's mysterious illness, and concern grows that he could miss a ton of action in 2011, Andy Reid is trying is hardest to put those fires out.

The wide receiver entering his third season left the team last week to visit doctors in his home town St. Louis, but the head coach remains positive about having the second half of his one-two punch, telling reporters after Thursday night's preseason game:

“I think he’s going to be ready [for Week 1],” Reid said. “I guess I’m optimistic. I’m waiting to hear the results, but I’m optimistic.”

Maclin hasn't been practicing at all during training camp, and the Eagles adding Steve Smith didn't help to alleviate the wild rumors floating around. However, it should be noted Smith was moved to the Physically Unable to Perform list today. If he begins the regular season on the PUP, he will not be available until Week 6.

The fact that they don't know is certainly discouraging, but neither the team or Maclin seem to believe it will impact his career, much less this season. The opener is now only one month away though, so we will find out soon enough.

La Salle pummeled by VCU, 90-52, snapping 5-game streak

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La Salle pummeled by VCU, 90-52, snapping 5-game streak

RICHMOND, Va. -- Justin Tillman had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead five VCU players in double figures in a 90-52 victory over La Salle on Sunday.

VCU held La Salle to 15 made field goals and forced 16 turnovers.

VCU went on a 19-0 first-half run -- with 11 points from JeQuan Lewis -- for a 38-14 lead and the Rams led 42-16 at halftime after shooting 51.5 percent. Lewis made 5 of 6 shots and had 13 of his 15 points in the first half.

Samir Doughty added 15 points for VCU (15-5, 5-2 Atlantic 10). Ahmed Hamdy-Mohamed had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Jordan Burgess scored 10. Tillman was 7 of 10 from the field as the Rams shot 56.5 percent.

Jordan Price and Saul Phiri each scored 11 points for La Salle (11-6, 5-2) and Pookie Powell added 10. It was a season-high for the freshman Phiri but the Explorers were just 15-of-53 shooting (28.3 percent).

The Sixers without Joel Embiid: Still just the Sixers

The Sixers without Joel Embiid: Still just the Sixers

Well, if anyone hoped the Sixers' performance at game's end against Portland on Friday night -- with Joel Embiid riding the bench, ruled out for the game's remainder with a left knee contusion -- would carry over to an entirely Embiid-less game again Saturdaynight... I guess you're not alone, 'coz I sorta did. Perhaps it shouldn't have been particularly surprising to see that the Sixers were still the same team last night in Atlanta they were the previous Saturday against the Wizards: good enough to hang against an above-average East team, but not nearly good enough to actually win. 

At least they kept this one closer longer. Normally, against the Hawks, once the single-digit lead in the first half balloons into the double-digit lead in the third quarter, it never deflates back, but this time we cut it down to seven a couple times -- just never hitting that one big shot that would've really made things interesting, ultimately losing 110-93. It doesn't help that Nik Stauskas is in the midst of one of his most refrigerated runs as a Sixer, going just 7-30 (3-16 from deep) over Philly's last five games, or that Dario Saric is similarly bricking shots near and wide, a remarkable 2 for 22 over his last couple contests. 

This, sadly, is a primary reason why the Sixers' playoff hopes, while fun to dream about, are still unlikely to be more than a flicker. Over the next few weeks, the Sixers have a trio of back-to-backs coming up, with the back-end games coming against Milwaukee, Sacramento and San Antonio -- none of which Philly, 2-12 without their star center, are probable to win sans JoJo. Even if they can take care of business with Embiid on the court, it'll be tough to make up the ground that the Sons of Sam need to while they have to drop one every three or four games as Joel sits. 

That's fine, though. This season's been super-fun, but we shouldn't get too far ahead of ourselves: Let's ensure Embiid's health, maybe get Ben Simmons out there too, secure a nice draft pick or two (though the plummeting Kings could be of significant help with that themselves), and focus on making next year even more of a thing. The future remains impossibly bright, even if the present is going to have to be borderline-unwatchable once or twice a week.