Philadelphia Eagles: Is Less Training Camp Hurting Players More Than Helping?

By williambontrager
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

With the Philadelphia Eagles‘ first preseason games only 10 days away, they have already suffered some tremendous blows to their roster. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and linebacker Jason Phillips have already been placed on the injured list, most likely for the whole season. Monday’s practice claimed another victim to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) under a training schedule that has been criticized for its lack of hitting. If these practices are so light, why are these injuries occurring?

When asked about the two injuries, head coach Chip Kelly likened it to a battle where great soldiers are lost.

“Its kinda like someone dropped their shield in battle, and the other guy has to pick it up, pick up the slack for him,” Kelly told reporters.

However, these injuries are more than a shield, as Maclin “picked up the slack” for a disgraceful DeSean Jackson last season. Jackson is going to have to repay the favor this year.

Both injuries are a result of a non-contact play. Nobody got caught in a pile-up or got hit so hard they were twisted. Kelly told reporters that his practices were not going to look like that. When asked about it, he explained that the players would have four preseason games to practice hitting with the dives added. Despite these precautions, last season’s top receiver for the team and a crucial member of the linebacker corps are out for the season.

After Maclin came off the field on a routine 7-on-7 drill, his knee “buckled a bit,” according to Jackson. The bad news was announced on Saturday concerning his injury. Then, on Monday, Phillips went down hard after a kickoff return drill. It has been two days since the Eagles have been practicing with pads and already have some major injuries to the squad. The same thing is happening all around the NFL. Non-contact or minimal contact injuries are cropping up.

Is the league’s new policy to cut down practice sessions from 14 weeks to nine affecting the toughness of the individuals? Or is it simply a “fluke,” such as Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie told CBS Sports. Naturally, with less time to officially train, more responsibility falls on the individual rather than the team to stay in shape. It is unlikely this rash of injuries is coincidental, and now it claimed two more soldiers that don the midnight green.

McKenzie is oddly optimistic to think these injuries are just a fluke. It is from players having more time to relax before training begins, and showing up at camp unprepared. The shortened practices were most likely designed to keep the NFL’s prize players from injury, which would diminish on their ticket sales, and ratings, but just like the other recent rules, they create harm, not good. Bring back the long-training period and get our warriors ready to go to war on the field.

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