WR Jeremy Maclin had to be carted off the practice field after sustaining a scary right leg injury on Saturday. According to reports, Maclin believes he tore his ACL because the injury feels similar to a torn ACL he sustained in college. Eyewitnesses say that Maclin collapsed after taking a few steps off the line of scrimmage. ACL tears are one of the most severe non-contact injuries that are common in the NFL, and regardless of what the precise diagnosis winds up being, he appears to be seriously hurt. Right now, odds are against him taking another snap in the 2013 season.
The loss of Maclin would deal a big blow to the Eagles offense and force Chip Kelly to turn to either Riley Cooper or Arrelious Benn as his replacement. Neither player has Maclin’s route running ability, suddenness, or chemistry with Michael Vick and Nick Foles.
Adding to Maclin’s frustration is the way he decided to handle his contract situation. An upcoming free agent, Maclin was so confident that he would play his way to a bigger contract in 2013 that he decided against pursuing an extension earlier this offseason. Now, Maclin is set to hit the free agent market without any production since 2012 and an injury prone label that will be very tough to shake.
Some Eagles on the roster bubble could benefit from Maclin’s injury, though. Consider Arrelious Benn, Damaris Johnson, Jason Avant, and even Russell Shepard and Ifeanyi Momah better bets to make the final 53. Maclin’s injury is a bitter disappointment for all parties involved, but the Eagles have a logjam of talented, unproven receivers who are just waiting for an opportunity to show what they can do. The second receiver job is now up for grabs, and Chip Kelly certainly expects the next men up to capitalize on their opportunity.