By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Eagles went through their first training camp workout at Lincoln Financial Field, and Jeremy Maclin was forced into the role of spectator.
After tearing the ACL in his right knee Saturday, Maclin’s season is most likely over. The wide receiver admitted he was doubtful he could return this year, and said he knew the injury was severe when he went down in practice.
“I was devastated,” said Maclin. “I was laying on the field. It wasn’t the fact that it hurt. It was that I knew what happened, so I was emotional. This is something I love to do. I love to play football.”
Maclin is expected to have his surgery early next week. Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman said the loss of Maclin is a big blow to the offense as well as the locker room.
“Jeremy’s a heck of a player,” Roseman said. “He has great character and is a hard worker. He had a great off-season. It’s disappointing for him and it’s disappointing for us. He’ll come back from this. We’re hurting from this but at the same time, we’ve got to keep going.”
Meanwhile, Maclin’s teammates participated in practice at the Linc. The pads came on for the first time but there was limited hitting in the workout. Nearly 30,000 fans were in attendance and rookie Tight End Zach Ertz was impressed by the support from the Eagles’ faithful.
“It was crazy,” said Ertz. “Seeing all of those fans for practice is something I’ve never experienced. I think the fans here are amazing and it’s something I definitely don’t take for granted.”
While all eyes have been on the quarterbacks throughout much of camp, the defense will look to improve after struggling in 2012. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans says the players are understanding the techniques of the new system, but need to continue to work before the start of the season.
“We’re fine right now,” said Ryans. “We’re all a little rusty, but we’re getting there. Every day, you have to work on something to get better. We still have a lot of work to do.”
The Eagles return to Novacare for practice on Monday before enjoying a day off on Tuesday.