Will the Eagles look outside the organization to help fill the void created by the loss of Jeremy Maclin? Perhaps eventually. But for now, Howie Roseman seems to be searching in-house for answers.
“We have a lot of faith in our skill position players as a whole and that’s how we look at it. We’re not only looking at just our wide receiver group, we’re looking at the running backs, we look at the tight ends, and those are the guys we have high expectations for,” said Roseman. “That’s what camps for — the competition — and that’s why we brought in people to compete.
“We’re always going to explore options and see if there are ways to improve our roster, but right now we’re excited about some of the young guys we have at those positions we just talked about.”
Which young guys is Roseman specifically excited about? Interestingly, he named the tight end duo of James Casey and Zach Ertz first, then running backs Bryce Brown and Chris Polk. It sounds like the Eagles think Maclin’s production will not be filled by a specific receiver necessarily, but believe they can lean on other skill position players to help compensate for the loss. Tight ends and backs were going to be a featured part of this offense regardless.
As far as young receivers, Roseman mentioned Russell Shepard, Ifeanyi Momah and Damaris Johnson, who are in the mix with veterans Riley Cooper and Jason Avant. Cooper got the first-team reps in Maclin’s absence Saturday.
Arrelious Benn, another potential option, has been sidelined with a knee issue. Roseman said the team is not viewing it as a long-term injury.
Maclin suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during 7-on-7 drills at practice Saturday. There are no concrete plans for surgery yet, said Roseman, and a move to place him on injured reserve won’t come until the roster is trimmed to 75.
The 25-year-old receiver is in the final year of his rookie deal, making this injury a particularly difficult pill to swallow. Instead of holding out or creating a fuss, he showed up and planned on letting his play do the talking.
“You’re also talking about someone in Jeremy who is extremely competitive and thinks that he can play at a higher level than he had been playing at,” said Roseman. “He also doesn’t want to short-sell himself, so that was also a concern. It’s always been very friendly talks with him and his agent Ben Dogra, and so this wasn’t a case where we didn’t want the player here or didn’t tell the player we like him. It’s unfortunate.”
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