Training camp nutshell: Jason Phillips tears ACL

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Training camp nutshell: Jason Phillips tears ACL

July 29, 2013, 4:45 pm
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The 27-year-old Jason Phillips is entering his first season with the Eagles. (USA Today Images)

Update: 6:13 p.m.

Down went another one.

In the first training camp back at the NovaCare Complex since Jeremy Maclin tore his anterior cruciate ligament, the Eagles lost another crucial player for the season when linebacker Jason Phillips went down with a torn ACL. The Eagles placed Phillips on injured reserve and signed Travis Long, a rookie linebacker out of Washington State.

Phillips, an inside linebacker signed in free agency who was expected to be an impact special teams player, left practice on a motorized cart after colliding with a teammate at the end of a special teams drill.

The 27-year-old spent the past two seasons with the Panthers after being drafted by the Ravens in the fifth round of the 2009 draft. Phillips played 16 games in 2012 and made 22 combined tackles, 19 of which came as a substitute.

The Eagles didn’t tackle to the ground -- and won’t until preseason games, Chip Kelly said -- but they did practice in pads and Monday’s practice had a noticeable uptick in contact. After going down hard during the kickoff return drill, the fourth-year linebacker wrenched off his helmet and screamed a few obscenities of the four-letter variety.

The cart first transported him to the trainer’s tent, where medical staff members examined his right knee and leg area. Phillips then hopped back aboard the cart and was taken to the complex entrance.

In addition to Long, linebackers Casey Matthews, Jamar Chaney, Emmanuel Acho and Jake Knott will all compete to fill the Phillips' role.

Other injuries
Right guard Todd Herremans sat out practice with a tweaked knee that he sustained during Sunday’s practice at the Linc. The injury isn’t considered serious. After practice Monday, Herremans said he felt "good."

"We've got a day off tomorrow. I think I probably could have gone today -- it might have been pushing it a little bit," Herremans said. "But I think I'll be back out there Wednesday. We'll see how the day off goes and everything, but it's nothing to be concerned about."

Danny Watkins took Herremans’ spot.

Veteran cornerback Brandon Hughes came out of practice to have his lower right leg checked out and never returned.

Wide receivers Arrelious Benn (knee) and B.J. Cunningham (foot) continued to miss practice, as did cornerback Cary Williams (hammy) and defensive tackle Antonio Dixon (hammy).

Mr. Reliable
You’re going to read this same sentence a lot this camp: Jason Avant turned in the most impressive catch at practice.

The veteran wideout leapt high to reel in a safety-splitting spiral from Nick Foles between Patrick Chung and Colt Anderson down the right seam. The catch one-upped Riley Cooper’s sprawling grab one play earlier.

Cooper, a potential fill-in for Maclin, also made several nice catches, including two touchdown catches in red zone drills and a one-handed grab on an underthrown pass by Foles just before the end of practice.

Special guest
Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, a close friend of Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, took in practice. Tannenbaum now works for the NFL Network.

Roseman often credits Tannenbaum for his big break. The Jets didn’t have an opening for Roseman, who was looking for an NFL job after completing his master’s at Florida, but Tannenbaum recommended Roseman to then-Eagles president Joe Banner.

Looking ahead
The Eagles have their first scheduled day off Tuesday and come back to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday. This is the final night that veterans have to stay in the team hotel, the Airport Marriott. Rookies must stay in the hotel for the duration of camp.

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