For the second straight year, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost a key member of their offense before the preseason has even started.
Last year, it was All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters, whose double Achilles tendon tear sidelined him for the entire campaign. This year, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin suffered an ACL tear in one of the first training camp practices, an injury that will force him out for all of 2013.
To say the Eagles will miss Maclin is an understatement.
The free-agent-to-be has been a pivotal part of the organization since being drafted in the first round back in 2009. He hasn’t yet pieced together the breakout campaign many believe he is capable of, but Maclin has still averaged 64 receptions, 863 yards and six touchdowns over the past four years. He was the team’s leading receiver in receptions, yards and touchdowns a year ago.
The Eagles have already said they will replace Maclin from within, as general manager Howie Roseman told CSNPhilly.com’s Reuben Frank. The Eagles didn’t spend any draft picks on receivers this past year, so it will have to be one of the veterans or a surprise undrafted free agent.
Here are the best ways the Eagles can recover from Maclin’s absence.