Jordan Matthews is making a big impression through two weeks of training camp. The wide receiver was drafted in the second round as a potential replacement for DeSean Jackson and so far he is living up to the expectations. Matthews is expected to compete for a starting job alongside Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper on the field and recent injuries are allowing him to shine in his first year with the Eagles.
According to running back LeSean McCoy, Matthews is the best rookie he has ever seen. The wide receiver out of Vanderbilt has been rotating in the receiver group, exclusively working in the slot position and his improvement has earned him reps with the first-team offense.
"The kid, from being 6-foot-3, can run like a deer, is strong -- that's all you can ask for," McCoy said, via CSNPhiladelphia.com. "With Cooper and Maclin not playing, it's good for the young guys to get in there. As a rookie, I don't want to put too much pressure on (Matthews). The good thing is, we have myself and other guys carrying the bulk of the load. It's still early, you gotta go through the season and see how he does. But he looks amazing."
The Cooper and Maclin injuries have the coaches concerned. Expectations are very high for both wide receivers and right now they both appear out for the first preseason games of the season. According to Tim McManus of the Star Ledger, Cooper is suffering from a foot injury and can currently be seen sporting a walking boot in practice. He will not play in the first preseason game and has been held out of practice.
Maclin is currently returning after missing all of last season to a torn ACL. The Eagles signed him to a one-year contract in hopes that he can return to his dominating ways. However, the team held their breath when Maclin landed awkwardly during practice and hobbled off the field. It is unclear the severity of the injury, although it does not appear to be serious. Head coach Chip Kelly notes that Maclin will likely not be seen either during the preseason game against the Chicago Bears.
These injuries put pressure on Matthews and hybrid star, Darren Sproles. The Eagles have Sproles taking snaps with the wide receivers right now and he could see some time at both receiver and running back during training camp and the season.