The Philadelphia Eagles had their first day of hitting during training camp this afternoon. It came with a price, as third-year wide receiver Riley Cooper suffered a broken left collarbone after awkwardly landing on the ground while attempting to catch a deep pass thrown by quarterback Michael Vick.
Cooper got tangled up with cornerback Curtis Marsh on the play and hit the ground hard. He stayed down for a few minutes before leaving the practice field under his own power.
Cooper was projected to be the team’s fourth wide receiver this season, behind DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Jason Avant. The Eagles have not yet announced whether Cooper’s injury will cost him the whole season, and they will need to decide whether to put him on Injured Reserve or keep him on the active roster. (He cannot go on the PUP list because the injury occurred before camp started.)
“We’ll have a medical meeting tonight like we have every night and talk to our doctors and trainers and we’ll go from there,” general manager Howie Roseman said. “We bring competition and depth at every position, because this is a game where there’s going to be some attrition. We’re excited about the guys on our roster. At any position, if there’s something that interests us, we’ll explore it.”
Last season, Cooper caught just 16 passes for 315 yards and a touchdown, although he did play well in his first three NFL starts (when Maclin was injured), catching 13 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown (the majority of his 2011 totals).
The likely candidate to open the season as the team’s fourth receiver is rookie Marvin McNutt, the Eagles’ sixth round draft pick. Also in the mix are Damaris Johnson, Chad Hall, Mardy Gilyard, Ron Johnson, Tiger Jones, Elvis Akpla, Jamel Hamler, and McKay Jacobson.
Damaris Johnson has emerged as a crowd favorite and is expected by many to make the team as a kick returner. Hall played for the Eagles in 2010 and 2011, and Gilyard has NFL experience after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. The rest of the group has little to no chance.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.