The first practices featuring pads for the Philadelphia Eagles took place this weekend and there were some casualties.
Riley Cooper suffered a broken left collarbone at Saturday’s practice. The wideout is expected to have a big season in 2012 but will be out for at least six weeks. Cooper will have surgery on Monday to plate his collarbone. The lost time in training camp is a disappointment, but Cooper will be back early in the season and should have most of the season to make his mark.
The Eagles season opener is six weeks away. Will Cooper be ready? The timing will be tight. When asked if Coop would be ready to re-join his teammates for the September 9 game in Cleveland against the Browns, head coach Reid said, “He’ll be close. I think he’ll be close.”
In Cooper’s absence, the Eagles have no plans to go out and get a new receiver to replace him. This means a chance for the players fighting for a roster spot to step up and make the team take notice.
As I reported from training camp on Saturday, Cooper’s injury gave an opportunity to see what 6th-round receiver Marvin McNutt has in him. And apparently the answer is a lot.
The University of Iowa product stepped up big this weekend, using his size to pull in some great passes and showing just why the Eagles hope he can help the team in the red zone. Reid named McNutt as the player most like Cooper currently on the Eagles roster and the team will work with McNutt to get him some work with special teams to help cover Cooper’s role there.
Almost as soon as Cooper’s was taken off the field on Saturday, I heard more than one fan murmur the name “Plaxico.” Burress is currently a free agent who, after spending one year with the Jets, was not re-signed by New York. Burress has for two successive seasons made his interest in becoming an Eagle very well known, but it seems that desire is not likely to be fulfilled at this time.
Instead of pursuing Plax or any other veteran receiver, the Eagles will focus with the talent already on their team. Which young receiver will seize the day and maximize the opportunities presented by Riley Cooper’s absence?
Andy Reid comments courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles