What are you going to do, put them in bubble wrap until Week 1 of the regular season?
Just days into training camp on Saturday, the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens have lost key cogs in their passing games. Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin tore his right ACL — in a non-contact drill. Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta suffered a fractured hip in a collision with safety James Ihedigbo. Both injured players are reportedly done for the season.
Is the answer to cut way back on hitting during the summer workouts and practices? That wouldn’t have mattered in Maclin’s case. The Eagles weren’t even in pads yet. And in any case, it is football.
So now it’s time to make adjustments. Pitta caught 61 passes in 2012, and the Ravens already were heading into the season minus their top receiver during the Super Bowl-winning season, wideout Anquan Boldin, whom they traded to the San Francisco 49ers.
What’s the answer? Next man up, which has long been a Ravens mantra. Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell says tight end Ed Dickson will just have to step up his game.
Maclin, who led the Eagles in receptions with 69 last season, tried to display a positive outlook after being hurt.
Appreciate all the love and support twitter fam....sad day but I have setbacks my entire life. Minor setback ... http://t.co/DiFGrrmI5D— Jeremy Maclin (@jmac_18) July 27, 2013
He was getting expressions of support even from outside the Eagles.
We may be on rival teams @jmac_18 but we are still human and I sent prayers up for you brother along with all others injured today— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) July 27, 2013
Meanwhile, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick expressed confidence in him, saying Maclin would “find a way.”
But less than a week into camp, these two teams suddenly have to a find a way to replace an awful lot of offense.