The Book of Jeremy is closed for the 2013 season in Philly. It's a sad and untimely lesson on a training camp Sunday: the Lord giveth…and the Lord taketh away.
Zach Berman of the Inquirer has confirmed Jeremy Maclin tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Saturday's practice. It is an injury that will cost the 25-year-old wide receiver the season. A first-round pick in 2009 who has been a four-year starter with the Eagles, the 6-foot, 198-pound receiver has been a consistent contributor. He never exceeded 1,000 receiving yards in a season, but he has more catches through his first four years than any player in Eagles history.
Maclin had 69 receptions for 857 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He may not be the deep threat that DeSean Jackson is, but he might be their most complete wide receiver.
Maclin was hoping to put up big numbers this year before testing the free agent market to see what he was worth.
That gamble has obviously turned into a personal disaster.
I feel terrible for Maclin and I also feel bad for the Eagles offense. Jeremy's big plays will be missed.
Next man up? Anyone's guess.
Out of respect for Maclin I will not immediately speculate on who has the best shot on the current roster to take over his job. I will only say that Jason Avant's stock has risen a few points based on the tragic injury to Maclin. Although Avant is a slot receiver and won't be moved out from the slot, his job security is improved by the demise of Maclin.
Maclin was going to be a featured part of Kelly's system, and came to camp healthy and eager.
If you're thinking the Birds may go out and try to pick up a quality wide receiver on the open market, there really aren't that many good ones. The top free agent out there right now is Brandon Lloyd, who had 911 yards last season with the Patriots.
Nothing comes easy to this team, it seems. It wasn't even a contact drill in which Maclin was hurt. He was simply coming off the line of scrimmage on a 7-on-7 drill.
Contact begins today. The pads go on. It's an open practice at the Linc.
Dummy Philly fans were at their worst on the airwaves this Sunday morning. Unbelievable stupid reactions to the Maclin injury abound: "I blame AR and Howie for drafting him" [note- Howie Roseman wasn't the G.M. until 2012]." "Maclin is softer than 2-ply Cottonelle"…"This is the Curse of Kelly"…"Iggles are done before they even got started"…"Maclin is a head case."….
Thank goodness for smart phans. The dummies should be ashamed of themselves. But they aren't. Because they're too ignorant to understand the concept of healthy shame.
The team gathers itself and prepares for the open practice at the Linc. There is a threat of rain and possible lightning, so I won't be surprised if the event is delayed or cancelled. But as of 9:00 A.M. EST, looks like the show will go on.
All tickets have been reserved for Sunday's open practice at Lincoln Financial Field, the first of five open training camp practices this summer. The Eagles have issued 246,000 tickets for the five open dates.
Sunday's 12:30 p.m. practice will be the first day in full pads. The players will hit for the first time, a key component in the coaching staff's evaluation.
The Eagles will have 39 former players present, including Donovan McNabb, Ron Jaworski, and Brian Dawkins. The team will recognize the players before practice, and eight Eagles alumni will be at the HeadHouse Plaza signing autographs at 10:30 a.m.
Reporters all agreed Nick Foles looked good in Saturday's practice. Foles took 24 snaps with the first team. Mike Vick took 17 snaps with the "1"'s. (Barkley and Dixon and Kinne took no reps with the first team.)
Neither quarterback threw an interception as they appear to be getting more comfortable and effective in Chip Kelly's offense.
"It's getting a lot easier," Foles said. "Of course there is still a lot to learn, but from when we started learning this system to now, I definitely feel more comfortable. You have to keep grinding, keep getting into it because within these plays there is opportunity, like I said with ball placement being really key, you can look at different places to place the ball and open it up even more."
There was a botched handoff with LeSean McCoy—other than that, they say Foles looked to be in control.
Jordan Raanan of NJ.com: "He zipped passes down the seam to Damaris Johnson. He nailed Greg Salas deep down the right sideline for what may have been a long touchdown. He found Zach Ertz deep down the middle for a big gain."
Looked good—but it was a non-contact drill. That all changes today at the Linc. And as Chip Kelly explained earlier in the week, that's when it becomes a totally different game.
"We haven't had pads on. They don't get hit," Kelly said. "Tell me who's going to stand in the pocket against a full rush. I haven't seen them do that." He will today at Lincoln Financial Field.