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Three players. Three snapped ligaments. All on the same field.
The Eagles had only practiced 10 times at the NovaCare Complex by Tuesday, when wideout Arrelious Benn became the third significant player to have his anterior cruciate ligament shredded on the middle practice field.
Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, a four-year starter, tore his on the second day of practice, and linebacker Jason Phillips, a free-agent signing, tore his two days later. None of the three injuries involved contact.
On Wednesday, coach Chip Kelly said the team is looking into reasons for the rash of ligament tears on the same field.
“We're looking into everything,” he said. “Obviously, when you have the same injury and it happens in a two‑week span or whatever it is, we’re going to look at it and try to figure out, obviously, is it preventable? Is it something that we can make sure doesn't happen?
“But I don't have any information. I know we're looking at it. But a lot happens any time we have injuries. Our doctors and trainers are trying to figure that part out how the overall scope of everything we do. But it's something that we certainly are looking at right now.”
Still, Kelly hasn’t felt compelled to change his practice routine. The Eagles and Patriots did most of their joint scrimmaging Wednesday on the same middle field where the injuries occurred.
The layout of the practice fields was changed before training camp. Under the old look, the leftmost field ran vertically, while the adjacent two ran horizontally. Now, all three fields are stacked side by side, vertically.