The Eagles may have serious issue with their wide receiver unit, following Saturday's practice session at training camp. Former 1st round pick and starting wide receiver Jeremy Maclin fell to the ground in pain during a throwing drill. According to several beat writers, Maclin caught a pass from Michael Vick before taking a few steps and falling down. The wide receiver's injury was said to be to his right leg.
Here is Bleeding Green Nation's own Brandon Lee Gowton said about the scene:
From what I saw, Mac caught a pass, play finished. I looked down to tweet, and by time I looked up he was down.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonLeeSBN) July 27, 2013
Maclin reportedly tried to stand back up but was unable to get to his feet. Chip Kelly, Howie Roseman, Jason Avant and the medical staff joined the four-year veteran to check on him. According to Adam Caplan, Maclin was on the ground for roughly five minutes before he was carted away. Several reporters said that Maclin was carted off the field with a towel over his head.
According to former BGN Contributor, Jordan Raanan, Maclin may be fearing the worst:
While the team, media and fanbase shouldn't jump to conclusions, by all accounts this doesn't look very good for the Missouri alum. Maclin seemed to poised for a fresh start with a new regime and was really betting on himself this season, heading into the final year of his contract. While Maclin has had his injury issues in the past and has never hand a 1,000 receiving yards in a season, he has led the team in receptions and receiving touchdowns several times. At only 26-years old, Maclin has tons of playing time left in him, but if this injury is serious, he may not be able to get the big contract that he could have gotten with a highly productive season going into free agency.
As far as the Eagles are concerned, a major injury to Maclin would be a pretty big blow. While the unit features a lot of talent, outside of DeSean Jackson, the depth mostly consist of good role players. Jackson isn't a conventional number one receiver or even a possession receiver, so the team will need a dependable set of hands opposite the former Pro Bowler. The immediate replacements on the roster would likely be Riley Cooper, Damaris Johnson and Arrelious Benn. All three have their pluses and their minuses.
Cooper has flashed when given the opportunity but his lack of consistency makes him more suited for a depth role. Johnson is undoubtedly talented but his similar lack of size to Jackson may make the team a bit one-dimensional and possible vulnerable against large cornerbacks. Benn is probably the most eligible option because of his starting experience in Tampa Bay, but his talents and size make him more intriguing in the slot than on the outside.
The Eagles could always opt to go the free agency or trade route. There have been rumors that the Chargers have been looking unload either Robert Meachem or Malcolm Floyd and Brandon Lloyd is still on the street. While all three of those players leave something to be desired, Flord's size could be intriguing to Kelly. Then again, Roseman is known for making surprise "big" moves when everyone least expects it, so there could be another name out there that the team could target.
Either way, the news of Maclin's situation is troubling. While fans have not always been receptive to him, he has been pretty productive. He's caught 258 receptions for 3,453 yards and 26 touchdowns over the last four years. That type of production will be hard to replace.
Update (3:32 p.m.): The Eagles have signed New Hampshire wide receiver Dave Ball to the active roster. This fills the spot that William Powell vacated when he was waived for a failed physical on Friday. Ball, not to be confused with the defensive end of the same name that recently played for the Titans, was visiting at training camp today, so this has nothing to do with the Maclin injury. Still no word on whether Maclin's injury will end his season or what exactly the injury.
Update (4:52 p.m.):
Initial word on #Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin, per league source: Torn right ACL. More info as I get it.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) July 27, 2013
Update (5:15 p.m.):
Looking more and more like it's the real deal. It's a shame, but an ACL tear means Maclin's season and possibly his career with the Eagles is over.
Jeremy Maclin tore the ACL in his right knee, a source close to Maclin confirmed— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) July 27, 2013
Update (5:22 p.m.):
#Eagles announce WR Jeremy Maclin has a torn ACL in his right knee.— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) July 27, 2013