Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp Notes
NFL football is back! Training camps opened last week and preseason games started last night. Here’s the latest news out of Eagles camp:
1. Wide Receiver Jeremy Maclin Tears ACL
During practice on July 27th, Maclin went down during a non-contact drill and was carted off the field. Testing revealed a torn ACL in his right knee, marking the second time Maclin has suffered this injury (in college in 2006). Maclin will undergo surgery this week and miss the entire season. Maclin is in the last year of his rookie contract and was hoping to cash-in by exceeding expectations this year. It’s a huge loss for the Eagles, as Maclin led all receivers last year with 69 catches for 857 yards and seven touchdowns.
“I was devastated,” Maclin told NFL.com. “Laying on the field, it wasn’t the fact that it hurt, it was the fact that I knew what happened. I was emotional knowing everything that was at stake.”
2. Riley Cooper Leaves Camp
Cooper, a wide receiver entering his fourth year in the league, was caught on camera using a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert. After the video was released on Wednesday, Cooper issued an apology almost immediately. Cooper was then fined by the Eagles and, on Friday, excused from all team activities to seek counseling. His teammates have come out on both sides of the incident, with center Jason Kelce forgiving Cooper while running back LeSean McCoy said he “can’t respect a guy like that.” Further punishment, such as a suspension, could still come.
“This is the lowest of lows,” Cooper said during his apology. “This is not the type of person I want to be portrayed as. This isn’t the type of person I am. I’m extremely sorry.”
3. QB Competition Still a Competition
The Eagles have three quarterbacks vying for the starting spot: veteran Michael Vick, 2012 draft pick Nick Foles and 2013 draft pick Matt Barkley. Vick is a dual-threat quarterback so from that standpoint, is more suited to new head coach Chip Kelly’s offense. However, Kelly has stated that the competition is wide open. Recent reports from camp say that the competition is really between Vick and Foles, as Barkley still has a lot to learn and improve upon in his rookie season. Kelly has kept mum on the competition so far, saying he will name a starter when a starter emerges.
4. Eagles To Hold Joint Practice with the New England Patriots
On August 6th and 7th, the Eagles will welcome the New England Patriots to Lincoln Financial Field for joint practices. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has held joint practices in the past because he feels it raises the level of competitiveness. Under Andy Reid, however, the Eagles never held a joint practice. The practices will be closed to the public.
5. The Preseason Kicks Off on August 9th
When the Patriots and Eagles are finished practicing with each other, they’ll go up against each other in their preseason opener. The game, at Lincoln Financial Field, will allow coaches to get a look at players at game speed. The Eagles have four preseason games between now and August 27th. By 4 p.m. on August 27th, teams need to trim their roster from 90 to 75. By August 31st, rosters will be trimmed again, to 53. A player’s performance in the preseason games can sometimes determine whether or not they make the regular season roster.