FOXBORO — Jeremy Maclin‘s day started off pretty well.
He lined up against Darrelle Revis during one-on-ones and, with a steady rain driving down, was able to get loose and haul in a pass from Nick Foles. The two connected again during team drills as Maclin took off from the slot, raced into open space over the middle and snagged a Foles pass for the touchdown.
Maclin, though, was slow to return to his own sideline after the catch. He cursed as he yanked his chin strap loose, then stopped briefly to speak with one of the Eagles trainers. The veteran receiver sat out for the remainder of the day.
He wore an ice bag around his surgically-repaired right knee after practice but revealed that it was his left hamstring that forced him to shut it down.
“It shouldn’t be a big deal,” said Maclin. “Go back, treat it and come back tomorrow…It grabbed on me. I knew that I probably wasn’t going to practice for the rest of the day so I was a little upset from that aspect.” Asked if he would play in Friday’s preseason game, he said, “I’m hoping to.”
Between yesterday and the early portion of today’s practice, this is arguably the best Maclin has looked all offseason. While that’s encouraging, the other side is that he has been in and out of the lineup over the last two weeks whether that’s because of “general leg soreness,” the hamstring, or otherwise.
Riley Cooper (foot) has returned to practice in a limited capacity but continues to sit out during team drills, so Nick Foles was working with a makeshift receiving corps once again that was comprised of Ifeanyi Momah, Arrelious Benn and Brad Smith. It’s no coincidence that Foles hasn’t looked quite himself of late. Open targets have been a little tough to come by.
Is it a concern that he is not getting a lot of reps with the starting receivers?
“Certainly, you’d like to be able to play as many reps as you can with all the guys you’re going to be playing with,” said Pat Shurmur. “Unfortunately, this time of year, there’s a lot of skill players that deal with some soft tissue issues and missing practice. So there’s a lot of time left. We’ve got a lot of time and there was a lot of great reps throughout the spring and so I think you just go back on that.”
The Eagles have 25 days between now and their regular-season opener against the Jaguars, to be exact. When that times comes, they’ll be depending on Maclin to be both present and productive.
“For Mac, it’s just a matter of getting getting more comfortable getting out there,” said Chip Kelly prior to practice. “You can tell he’s running around and doing those things, but you’re not instantly, hey I got it back to where I was before. It’s still getting more familiar, a little bit more comfortable with what we’re doing. Even though he was in the building every day he was rehabbing so he wasn’t on the field or working with us from a scheme standpoint.
“He might have confidence in his leg but he’s still trying to make sure he acclimates everything that we’re trying to do from an offensive standpoint, processing the terminology, getting lined up and playing. But every day I think you see him getting a little bit better and better.”
Jaylen Watkins sat out with a hamstring injury but expects to be back soon. David Fluellen, Nolan Carroll (hamstring/groin), Matthew Tucker (hamstring), Chris Polk (hamstring) and Jake Knott (hamstring) also sat out.