We don’t know for sure, but it certainly sounds like Jeremy Maclin tore the ACL in his right knee. *UPDATE* The Eagles have confirmed that it is a torn ACL.
You hate this for a couple of reasons. First, selfishly, as Eagles fans, you don’t want to lose good players to injury. Mac isn’t a dominant player, but he’s a darn good WR. I think playing for Chip Kelly was going to bring out the best in him.
The injury is also terrible because of how it affects Maclin’s career. He was set to be a free agent at the end of the year. Both he and the team had been slow to talk extension since no one knows exactly what to make of Mac. He’s not an upper echelon WR (Fitz, Calvin, etc.), but he’s not just an average starter either. 2013 was going to be huge for figuring out his value.
I don’t think this is a crushing blow to the Eagles. We know Chip Kelly wants to run the ball. We know that Kelly wants to use TEs quite a bit. This wasn’t going to be the Mac and DJax show that we’ve seen since 2009.
Honestly, I don’t know that the Eagles have to bring in a starting caliber WR. This becomes a huge opportunity for Riley Cooper, Damaris Johnson and Arrelious Benn. Cooper and Benn have the size Kelly loves. Johnson has the elusiveness and RAC ability.
Jimmy Bama and I did a WR preview for the H2H Show and I said on there that I didn’t consider any WR a lock to make the roster. The closest thing to a lock to me was Damaris Johnson. DJax had to show Kelly that they’re on the same page. So far, he’s done exactly that and is off to a great start. Mac had to show Kelly that he would block and be more of a physical player. Kelly has no use for 200-pound finesse WRs. He didn’t need Mac to turn into Earl Campbell, but Mac’s 2012 performance was about as un-Chip Kelly as a WR can play.
I hoped that with Chip’s prodding, Mac, being a high character guy, would embrace the new way of doing business and it would bring out the best in him. Now it sounds like that has been put on hold.
There is no denying that the Eagles are weaker at WR with Mac hurt, but this injury isn’t nearly as crippling as it would have been with Reid at the helm. If you want to throw the ball 40 times a game, you need the right WRs. The 2013 Eagles will run the ball and throw to TEs and WRs. As long as DeSean Jackson stays healthy, the team can overcome losing Mac.
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I will be interested to see the type of player they use to fill Mac’s spot. More on that later.