The Philadelphia Eagles announced that wide receiver Jeremy Maclin suffered a torn ACL in his right knee today during practice. Tough news, sure, but the reaction that the injury received from the Philly and national scriptuals was incredibly ridiculous and far overblown. A sampling:
Don’t get me wrong at all, Maclin is a great talent, an incredible individual—a team-first kind of guy—and this isn’t the kind of injury that’s going to ruin the season for this team. So we all just need to take a step back, take a mighty deep breath, and not lose our shit over this. Seriously, it’s going to be OK.
Maclin wasn’t even the best wide receiver on the team. Statistically speaking, last year he may have been, but contrary to what one ESPN program would have you believe, numbers most certainly do lie. Maclin was the most targeted receiver on the team (122 passes were thrown his way, 35 more than the next closest receiver), but his conversion rate on those passes was on 56 percent, second worst out of the Eagles receivers targeted more than 40 times last year (of which there were 7). Then there’s the clutch factor. Dropped passes in crucial situations have been the norm with No. 18. Go back to Week 2 of the 2011 season, a huge missed catch with the game on the line against Atlanta; Week 4 that same year against the 49ers brought about another game-ending drop; and then I’m sure there were countless others during that whole debacle that was the 2012 season.
I know I’m making him sound way worse than he is, but there are plenty of names on this roster that now have an opportunity to step it up and play a bigger role. Guys like Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, and Damaris Johnson will definitely get more looks, and who knows how they’ll respond in a whole new offense. Oh, and don’t forget about Jaccass. DeSean missed a good chunk of last season, and this high-octane offense will absolutely play to his favor, so he should be back to his pre-2011 numbers. Just having him back out on the field, as one of the biggest threats in the game, is going to benefit this offense.
Also, if they decide to look for outside help, the list of free agent wide outs is pretty lengthy—Brandon Lloyd, Randy Moss, Laurent Robinson, Donald Jones, Deion Branch, Steve Breaston… And just to put it out there, Terrell Owens… Just saying. There are plenty of names out there, and don’t forget that cuts are still a few weeks away, so the list is only going to get longer.
Does it suck that the Eagles will have to go the year without the man who lead the team in nearly every receiving category last year? Yes. But this team has seen much worse happen. It’s a long season people. I know being a Philly fan sucks ass, and we’re supposed to be cynical douche bags because nothing ever goes our way, but please just let this one play out.