NFL notebook: Eagles’ Maclin tears knee ligament
PHILADELPHIA – Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin tore the ACL in his right knee during practice Saturday and could miss the season.
Maclin went down at the end of a non-contact drill and appeared to be in pain while he was on the ground for several minutes. He was helped onto the cart and needed assistance getting off it and going into the team’s practice facility.
“Appreciate all the love and support twitter fam … sad day but I have setbacks my entire life. Minor setback for a MAJOR comeback! (hash)birdgang,” he wrote on Twitter.
Philadelphia is in its second full practice under new coach Chip Kelly. The first practice with pads is Sunday.
The Eagles signed wide receiver David Ball to the 90-man roster. The 29-year-old Ball played for Kelly at New Hampshire, and broke Jerry Rice’s Division I-AA record for touchdown receptions. Ball spent time in training camp with Chicago and the New York Jets in 2007-08.
Maclin is headed into his fifth season with the Eagles. He led the team with 69 catches for 857 yards and seven touchdowns last season, and the former first-round pick is in the final year of his rookie contract.
Ravens’ Pitta dislocates hip: Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta dislocated his hip in practice and is expected to remain sidelined through the Sept. 5 regular season opener.
The injury occurred when Pitta collided with safety James Ihedigbo in the back of the end zone vying for a pass from Joe Flacco. Pitta lay prone for several minutes before being carted off the field.
“Dennis has a dislocated hip. We’ll have to take a look at that and see exactly what it is,” coach John Harbaugh said after practice. “It’s a serious injury. He is going to be out for a while. He will not be in the Denver game and we’ll just have to play it from there to see how long it goes.”
The Super Bowl champions begin defense of their title on the road against the Broncos Sept. 5.
Panthers favor HGH testing: Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says he has nothing to hide when it comes to testing for the human growth hormone.
The same goes for two of his top targets in the passing game – Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Greg Olsen.
All three players say they’re in favor of the NFL working out an agreement with the players union on a reliable HGH test, providing it’s not too intrusive. Earlier this week the two sides discussed appropriate procedures to test NFL players for supplemental HGH, which is a banned substance but difficult to detect.
Newton says having blood drawn is “not a big deal.”
He says “whatever the NFL decides to do I’m all for it, whether HGH testing or any testing, I’ll be prepared.”
Browns lineman taken to hospital: Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Ryan Miller was being treated at a hospital after being carted off the field during practice.
Miller, who is in his second season with Cleveland, was taken to the Cleveland Clinic by ambulance. A team spokesman said Miller was “awake, alert and has movement in all four extremities.” The team hadn’t released any other information about Miller’s injury or illness.
Cleveland’s players, wearing shoulder pads for the first time in training camp, were doing one-on-one drills inside the team’s indoor facility when Miller wound up on the turf at 4:39 p.m. It’s not known if the 6-7, 320-pounder was injured or collapsed.
As medical personnel rushed to Miller, the music inside the field house was turned off and several players took a knee. After Miller was immobilized and strapped to a backboard, the entire Browns team and coaching staff huddled around the player and prayed.
After Miller was wheeled from the facility to be taken to the downtown hospital, the Browns continued their practice, which was moved indoors because of bad weather and closed to the public.
Bills cut Shuler: The Buffalo Bills have released tight end Mickey Shuler a day before the team opens training camp.
The Bills announced the move Saturday morning, as players were scheduled to take physicals at camp in suburban Rochester, N.Y. The first practice is set for this evening.
Buffalo claimed Shuler off waivers in May, after he was released by the Oakland Raiders.
Shuler (6-4, 247) was selected by Minnesota in the seventh round of the 2010 draft out of Penn State. He split his rookie season with Minnesota and Miami, where he had two catches for 44 yards in six games.
He split the 2011 season between Cincinnati, Minnesota and Miami. Shuler spent the final 11 weeks of last season on the Raiders’ practice squad.
Giants’ Pierre-Paul played in pain: Driving a car for more than 30 minutes, standing up straight for extended periods and getting into his football stance all had the same effect on New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul last season.
It hurt, and it hurt a lot.
The 2011 All Pro player disclosed on Saturday that he played last season in pain, and it didn’t go away until he had disk surgery on his back in June.
“A back is a really, really horrible thing to have, back surgery period and you don’t want to rush back,” Pierre-Paul said Saturday before the Giants held their first practice. “I’m not concentrating on the first game, the second game, the third game, fourth game, fifth game, sixth game. I’m just trying to come back when I feel like I’m ready to come back.”
While he feels better now, the catalyst of the Giants’ defense is not sure whether he will be ready for the season opener at Dallas Sept. 8, although that is his goal.
The Giants have placed him on their active physically unable to perform list, leaving him to continue his rehabilitation.
“Honestly, my plan is to get better, come out here and be a big part of the team and try to get to the playoffs because that’s where it starts to make a Super Bowl run,” he said. “And be a better player than I was last year.”
To be honest, Pierre-Paul had a sub-par 2012 season. After recording 16 ½ sacks in helping the Giants win the Super Bowl in 2011, he had 10 less last year as New York posted a 9-7 record and missed the postseason.
To his credit, Pierre-Paul never talked about his back or how much it hurt.