NFL Training Camps Open and Here Come the Injuries: Maclin, Pitta Go Down for the Season
This week, NFL training camps opened and along with getting players back into work mode, there’s also the possibility for injuries. On Saturday, two players went down for the season: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy MacLin (torn ACL) and Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta (fractured hip).
For Maclin, the player got injured after participating in drills. Trainers worked on him after he laid on the ground for about five minutes. He got wheeled away, covering his face.
According to his fellow wide receiver DeSean Jackson, he said of Maclin’s injury via the team’s website, “He just came off the line of scrimmage and his knee buckled a little bit. It’s an unfortunate situation. Hopefully, it’s not too bad.”
The loss is a tough one for the Eagles are they are undergoing change with a new coach, Chip Kelly. Maclin was one of the team’s starting wide receivers and in tandem with Jackson, in 2010, the duo represented the highest-scoring offense in the team’s history; in 2011, its offense grabbed the most yards in Eagles history.
For Maclin, he was also in a contract year. The team drafted him in 2009 and over this time, the player had a franchise-high 258 receptions; he sits as the team’s top receiver ever to have this number in a player’s inaugural four years.
In 2012, Maclin had 69 catches and 857 yards with seven scores.
So what’s next for the team without Maclin? They do have depth and behind Jackson, there’s Arrelious Benn, Avant Cooper and Damaris Johnson, reported NFL.com. Other players such as veteran receivers Jason Avant and Riley Cooper can breathe a sigh of relief as their services will now likely be needed this season.
There’s also tight ends end who can step up as well and catch. This includes Brent Celek, the rookie Zach Ertz and Clay Harbor.
As for the Eagles’ upcoming season, they sit at +4000 to win this year’s Super Bowl.
In addition to Maclin going down, the team announced on Sunday that former quarterback Donovan McNabb will retire on Monday. A press conference will be held at 10 a.m. ET with the player and the team’s owner Jeffrey Lurie.
The news shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as McNabb said back in May that he would retire with the Eagles; the team just confirmed it this weekend.
For McNabb, he got traded to the Washington Redskins in 2010 but in his tenure with the Eagles, he went 92-49-1 and owns team records for 2801 completions, 32,873 passing yards and 216 passing touchdowns. He never got a Super Bowl win.
Pitta Goes Down
Ravens tight end Pitta had surgery on Saturday and is now out for the season after he dislocated his hip during team practice. This came as the player had collided with Ravens safety James Ihedigbo. The two were in the end zone, trying to catch a pass from the team’s quarterback, Joe Flacco.
Pitta laid on the ground for numerous minutes before he also exited the field on a cart.
Similar to Maclin, Pitta was entering the final year of his rookie contract. In 2012, he had 61 receptions for 669 yards with seven touchdowns.
During last year’s playoffs, Pitta had 14 receptions for 163 yards with three touchdowns.
So what’s next for the Ravens to fill this hole? Unlike the Eagles, they’ll look externally and this includes former Minnesota Vikings veteran Visanthe Shiancoe.
Prior to Pitta going down, the Ravens supposedly had their eyes on the player, reported ESPN. On Friday, he was supposedly with the team, watching practice.
Last season, Shiancoe was with the New England Patriots but didn’t do much: he only played in four games and had zero catches.
Is he the answer? Maybe not.
For the Ravens, getting a repeat Super Bowl win sits at +2200 for 2014.