By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report/The Philadelphia Sunday Sun
PHILADELPHIA—In a stunning development that does not involve the Eagles quarterback race, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was carted off the practice field with an injury to his right knee during seven-on-seven drills and is done for the season.
“He just came off the line of scrimmage and his knee buckled a little bit,” said wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
A couple of hours after practice, Eagles team officials confirmed that Maclin had indeed torn the anterior-cruiciate ligament in his right knee. It was definitely worst case scenario for Maclin and the Birds.
On Twitter, Maclin said thanked his fans for their support and said he’s going to get through what is a difficult time for him:
“Appreciate all the love and support twitter fam….sad day but I have setbacks my entire life. Minor setback …”
Maclin was in the last year of a five-year $12.775 million rookie contract. He in scheduled to make $1.6 million this season.
“I think he was going to be a big part of our offense and a big part of what we do,” Vick said. “I was going to get him involved. We had some great plays designed for him.”
With full contact drills less than 24 hours away and the team still in the process of learning the offense, Maclin will be missed by his teammates. That said, the team has to move forward.
“It’s tough, but unfortunately when something like this happens other guys have to step up,” said Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. “It’s the nature of the game. Injuries are going to happen and they can happen to anybody.”
While Maclin is not necessarily that superstar game-breaking receiver, but he has been consistent during his time in Philadelphia. Last season, Maclin led the Eagles in receiving with 69 receptions for 857 yards and seven touchdowns.
“You hate it more for that individual than for its impact on the team because you know how much, especially someone like Mac, who was all-in, eat, breathe, drink, sleeps football and has done a lot for this team and wants to do a lot more. It’s going to be hard on him mentally if it’s bad,” said Eagles guard Evan Mathis.
Over the last four years, Maclin has caught 258 passes, the most in team history for a wide receiver in his first four years in the league. Maclin was the Eagles No. 1 draft pick out of Missouri back in 2009.
“That’s one thing that anybody hates to see happen in training camp, to see one of our major contributors go down,” said Eagles center Jason Kelce, who missed of last season with a torn ACL”
With Maclin out, backup wide receiver Riley Cooper took his share of the reps during Saturday’s practice. The Eagles already had wide receiver Arrelious Benn on the sideline on an exercise bike rehabbing an injured left knee.
Before Maclin’s injury, the Eagles signed former New Hampshire star wide receiver David Ball, who played under Chip Kelly when he was an assistant coach at the school.
During his collegiate career, the six-foot-one-inch Ball put up some impressive numbers. He holds the Football Championship Subdivision record for most career touchdowns. Only Jerry Rice has more career yards receiving than Ball.
Unfortunately, Ball’s NFL career hasn’t been quite that fortunate. He has been nothing more than a practice squad player with the Chicago Bears and the New York Jets.