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Jeremy Maclin set for 'emotional' return

9/3/2014

PHILADELPHIA -- The training staff took Jeremy Maclin's name off the Philadelphia Eagles' treatment list the other day. A year and a month after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament, Maclin was free and clear to go about his business.

“I think it’s just day in and day out, putting in the work,” Maclin said. “Being off the treatment list, everything is headed in the right direction. It’s all behind me now.”

On Sunday, Maclin will play in his first regular-season game since the end of the 2012 season.

“I’ve thought about it,” he said. “I’m just excited to be able to play football again. It’s going to be emotional, but at the same time, it’s a blessing just to be back out there. I got a total of 60-some plays in the preseason, which kind of knocked the rust off. I feel good. I think I’ve had my best week of practice this week.”

It will be fascinating to see how the Eagles’ offense looks in the second year under coach Chip Kelly. DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant are gone. Maclin and Jordan Matthews are in. Kelly has said it takes a little while to adjust his offensive schemes to his personnel.

“The offense is going to keep evolving,” Maclin said. “Even now, we’re more advanced. We’re putting in more stuff. It ought to be interesting to see how we put everything together. We’ve had some great work up to this point. We’ll only continue to get better.”

During the preseason, the Eagles led the NFL in offensive yardage per game. But they did it with a strong running game and by throwing short passes.

“We didn’t throw the ball down the field at all during the preseason,” Maclin said. “There’s a lot more. You don’t show your whole hand.”

Overall, Maclin is excited to see how the new pieces -- himself, Matthews, Darren Sproles -- fit in with returning players like LeSean McCoy, Brent Celek, Zach Ertz and Riley Cooper.

“I think the pieces fit really well here,” Maclin said, “especially with what we do. You’ve got a versatile guy in Zach. You’ve got two running backs who can catch the ball. You’ve got a guy like me who can do everything they ask me to do. Coop on the other side, Jordan has a promising future. I don’t think we’re going to miss a beat.”