For the past two seasons, the Eagles have started the year off with one of their most valuable assets to the offense on injured reserve. Last season, Jason Peters was out for the year with an Achilles injury, and now this season the Eagles have lost Jeremy Maclin for the year to an ACL injury. Maclin was obviously a huge part of this offense and Chip Kelly definitely had a lot designed plays around Maclin’s skill set. But unfortunately he will be missed for the season, which is why the rest of the Eagles’ receivers must be durable this year.
The Eagles’ No. 1 receiver, DeSean Jackson, is the main guy that needs to stay on the field. Jackson has a history of concussions that scares a lot of the fans, especially when he takes a big hit. Jackson has a small frame which can increase the chances of injury occurring dramatically. Jackson must show that he can be a reliable receiver in this league and come up with plays that can put the team in a better position to win games. The past two seasons we haven’t seen that from Jackson, but if he stays on the field and avoids injury then he can definitely increase the chances of Michael Vick having a successful season.
Other guys like Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, and Damaris Johnson are solid players that will contribute to this team. However, even if one of these guys go down with an injury, receivers like Greg Salas, Jeff Maehl, Ifeyani Momah, and Russell Shepard may have to step up, and none of them have experience at the NFL level.
So if Jackson, Cooper, Avant, and Johnson can stay healthy then the Eagles should have no problem moving the ball through the air, assuming Vick is on his game. The tight ends will play a factor in the passing game as well, but to stretch the field the Eagles’ play-makers need to be in the game and stay out of the trainer’s room.
Sonny Bryan is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SonnyBryan50