NFC East: Eagles' Maclin Tears ACL, Damages Philly's WR Depth

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The Cowboys aren't the only team coping with deflating losses during training camp, which isn't exactly a surprise.

Just one day into training camp, the Philadelphia Eagles were dealt a huge blow with the loss of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to a torn ACL. With a rehab period of roughly six to eight months, the injury probably ends Maclin's 2013 campaign before it could even begin.


DeSean Jackson is the Eagles wideout who garners most of the publicity among NFL fans, but Maclin has arguably been the team's most productive receiver during the past two seasons. Maclin produced 1,716 total yards and 12 combined touchdowns in 2011 and 2012, compared to Jackson's 1,661 yards and six touchdowns.

Maclin has yet to produce the 1,000-yard-type of season that defines a team's go-to receiver, but he has been the model of consistency since he was drafted in 2008. He's averaging 864 yards and seven touchdowns per season in that timespan. [embedded_ad]

Jackson remains as the Eagles' top pass catcher, but it looks a little iffy after that. Jason Avant has been a consistent role player for Philadelphia for six seasons, but he's hardly explosive. Avant's 679-yard season in 2011 was the best of his career, and he has just 10 career touchdowns with only one of those coming in the past two seasons.

Behind Avant is fourth-year player Riley Cooper, who shined with touchdown grabs in both games against Dallas last year. Cooper has just 679 yards and five touchdowns in three pro seasons, however, and he has never exceeded 315 yards in a campaign.

The Eagles also traded a sixth round draft pick to Tampa this spring for wide receiver Arrelious Benn, who boasts 862 yards and five touchdowns in three NFL seasons. Benn is temporarily sidelined from Eagles camp with a knee injury for the time being.  The same goes for second-year receiver B.J. Cunningham, who Philadelphia signed to its practice squad last fall.

The Eagles have 10 other receivers on their training camp roster besides Maclin, but it's interesting to see how, despite the wealth of bodies, one injury can send a unit into a crisis. It will be worth keeping an eye on whether Philadelphia looks to bolster the position from outside or simply make due.

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