After a disappointing preseason so far, tight end Cornelius Ingram has to pay another visit to the hospital - this time for an MRI on left knee. This is the same knee that suffered an ACL tear during his senior year at Florida and a second one during last year's Eagles training camp. After missing several days of this year's training camp with a swollen calf and bouts of pain with his knee, Ingram will have to sit out of practice yet again. During this afternoon's press conference, Andy Reid downplayed the injury, telling reporters:
"He just has some swelling there. It’s just precautionary measures. It’s bothering him, so we’re going to get it checked out."
Of course, it could be nothing, but it's hard to expect much from a player who's had such an unfortunate history with injuries. This latest trip to the doctor could very well signal the beginning of the end of Ingram's brief time with the team. In the meantime, rookie Clay Harbor has been gobbling up the reps at tight end and performing admirably. As Andy Reid tells it:
"I would say that I wish Cornelius could be out there and doing his thing and his leg wasn’t bothering him. I would tell you on the other hand that it’s given Harbor an opportunity to be out there and get a lot of reps and that that second tight end plays approximately 25 percent of the plays max in our offense. What he’s doing with the increased play time is he’s getting better. Every day he takes another step forward. He’s made some nice plays in practice. Now, we’ve got to get him the ball in the game and see how he does there."
There is a good chance that the Eagles could choose to go with only two tight ends on their active roster, as they did last year with Brent Celek and Alex Smith. In that scenario, Ingram would either head to the injured reserve for the second time in his two-year career, or get cut entirely. While it's always hard to give up on such a promising young player, the harsh reality is that some athlete's bodies just aren't meant to withstand the stress of being on an NFL team. Still, I'll bite my tongue until the MRI results come back.