Today marked the first day of Philadelphia Eagles training camp where the players strapped on the pads and actually had some contact during the team practices. And with said contact comes the risk of players, enduring an injury, sometimes substantial, other times not.
Unfortunately two Eagles players went down at camp during today’s afternoon practice — one key starter and another solid backup — one from each side of the ball.
On the defensive side of things, Eagles 2012 Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin a rather serious calf strain. He is expected to get a MRI Saturday night. However we here at Philly Sports Nut have word that might be forced to miss some significant time, however an expected time-table is impossible to give until further information is provided. But every Eagles fan remembers Trent Cole’s calf strain and how long it took him to fully heal and become a force along the defensive line.
Team athletic trainer Rick Burkholder stressed that Babin’s injury in not Achilles-related.
On the other side of the ball, offense, third-year receiver Riley Cooper suffered a broken collarbone during a drill consisting of two receiver and three players from the secondary. As Cooper ran deep down the right sideline, being closely defended by CB Curtis Marsh, QB Michael Vick released a throw that forced Cooper to readjust and reach high in the air for the ball. Cooper made a remarkable catch until he landed on the ground and the ball popped loose.
That hit on the ground proved painful for Cooper as he needed to be carted off the practice field, with his left arm resting limply by his side. Cooper was expected to be the Eagles fourth receiver this season and receivers coach David Culley predicted 2012 would be a breakout season for the young veteran. Now, depending on the severity of Cooper’s fracture, that potential might be sidelined for some time.
Cooper is unable to be placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list because he has already participated in team drills during training camp. This leaves the Eagles with two options; wait for Cooper to recover and hope he does so as fast as possible or place him on injured reserve. If Cooper isn’t able to make a fast recovery, the Eagles will look to rookie Marvin McNutt, undrafted rookie Damaris Johnson, Ronald Johnson (practice squad) or veterans Chad Hall or Mardy Gilyard to fill in.
Both Babin and Cooper have some time on their side as the Eagles prepare to play in their first regular season game in six weeks against the Cleveland Browns. Hopefully both players can make a recovery within that time-table, but even if they can, the likelihood that they are 100% is slim to none.
Tough blows for the Eagles organization and I hope both get better soon!