While tight end Brent Celek sat out Saturday’s practice with a sore hip, many other previously banged up players returned to the field. They include defensive tackles Antonio Dixon and Trevor Laws, rookie linebacker Greg Lloyd, defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, tackle Fenuki Tupou, safety Jamar Wall and tight end Martellus Webb.
Two other significant players returned to practice Saturday – Jeremy Maclin and Steve Smith.
It’s Maclin’s first official practice with the team after dealing with an offseason illness. He had been working on a side field at times earlier in camp, but now he’s back with the rest of his teammates. It’s great news. With the line in flux, the Eagles offense really needs Maclin on the field opposite DeSean Jackson to help keep teams honest and from loading up the blitz against Vick.
Once he was cleared to return to football, Maclin insisted he would be ready for the season opener on September 11. With his return to the practice field Maclin has taken the first step toward making that happen. Expect Maclin to see some extended playing time in Thursday’s preseason finale.
The other injured Eagles receiver, the guy who according to DeSean Jackson was actually signed as Maclin insurance, has started practicing as well. Steve Smith finally took the field Saturday after going through extensive recovery from knee surgery. He had a microfracture procedure performed this past December and it was speculated that he wouldn’t be ready until a few weeks into the season. Now that’s he’s practicing it’s possible he could see the field Week 1.
If both players really are healthy and ready to suit up September 11, the team will have a problem that not that long ago no Eagles fan would have ever believed possible – too many good receivers.
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