Last year in training camp, Jeremy Maclin tore his anterior cruciate ligament during a non-contact drill. The pass hadn’t even been thrown in his direction, but he writhed in pain and was eventually escorted off the field, effectively ending his season before it really started.
So you can understand the concern Monday when Maclin came up gimpy during wide receiver-cornerback drills, removed his helmet and limped toward the sideline. He had beaten Cary Williams to make the catch, but went to the ground and appeared agitated as he got back up.
He skipped a punt-return drill and then went back onto the field for a team drill, but the sixth-year receiver removed himself again after making a catch across the middle. Maclin stayed on the sideline and didn’t return for the rest of the session.
Apparently, Maclin is fine. Although he wasn’t in a talkative mood — he’s usually not when he’s nicked up or involved in a fight — Maclin told reporters that he’d be fine and expects to practice Tuesday.
“I’ll be back out there tomorrow, fellas, all right?” he said, refusing to answer any other questions.
It’s been a so-so camp for Maclin. He’s made a few catches that make you think he’ll be an effective weapon this year, but he’s also had some very quiet practices. Meanwhile, rookie wideout Jordan Matthews is catching everything in sight and represents 98.7 percent of Mark Sanchez’s total targets.
DeSean Jackson isn’t talked about much these days, but he used to light up camp practices with a daily dose of touchdowns catches. In 1-on-1s, he was virtually unguardable. Nobody ever questioned if he could stretch the defense. Maclin has made some good catches, but there hasn’t been a day when he just owned the 1-on-1s or scrimmages.
The real test to see if Maclin is 100 percent recovered and ready to be a dynamic playmaker should come in the preseason game, presuming the coaches let him play.
Other observations from Day 8 of Eagles camp:
At some point, the coaches should get Travis Long working with the twos. He’s making progress and beasted Monday with the third team. During one play, he smacked up third-string left tackle Kevin Graf pretty good on his way to pressuring Matt Barkley. He’s impressive in the 1-on-1s, too.
Remember when Dennis Kelly was starting on the offensive line? Yeah, 2012 sure seems like ancient history. Kelly, who’s been working at guard with Lane Johnson at tackle, had trouble in the 1-on-1s against defensive end Brandon Bair.
Juke of the Day
Brad Smith shook safety Chris Maragos with a sweet double move to make an open catch along the left sideline in 1-on-1s.
Touch of the Day
Matt Barkley put just enough arc on a spiral to rookie receiver Kadron Boone, dropping it over Casey Matthews for a first down.
Instructor of the Day
Kevin Greene, a five-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker who twice led the NFL in sacks, is at camp helping coach outside linebackers. Greene, who played three years with the Steelers and had 37½ sacks in those three seasons, is helping out defensive coordinator Bill Davis, whose coaching career began in Pittsburgh.
Same as usual. Defensive tackle Bennie Logan is still slowed by a hamstring and isn’t doing team drills or 7-on-7s. Wide receivers Jeff Maehl and Riley Cooper are still in walking boots and not practicing. Running back Chris Polk and inside linebacker Jake Knott remained out with hamstring issues and center Julian Vandervelde is still sidelined by back soreness.