- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid said Friday that injured wide receiver Jeremy Maclin would not play Sunday in Arizona because of his hip injury. Maclin injured his hip in the season opener in Cleveland, but started and played Sunday against Baltimore only to injure it again. After participating in Thursday's practice on a limited basis, Maclin was held out of practice Friday, and after practice Reid said Maclin, tackle King Dunlap and wide receiver Riley Cooper would miss Sunday's game because of injuries.
"He didn't really make any improvement from yesterday," Reid said of Maclin, according to quotes released by the team. "We didn't have him do much yesterday, and he really didn't make any improvements, so we're going to give him the week off here to make sure we get that thing back."
The Eagles have an important divisional game against the New York Giants in Week 4, and it's possible they've just decided what Maclin needs is to sit out for a game to give the hip a chance to heal. Without him, they'll likely start rookie Damaris Johnson at wide receiver opposite DeSean Jackson and rotate Jason Avant and Mardy Gilyard in at wide receiver as well. It's also likely that tight end Brent Celek, who caught eight passes for 157 yards Sunday, will see a significant number of targets once again.
Maclin was on the field for only 44 of the Eagles' 80 offensive snaps Sunday, and he only caught one pass (though it was a touchdown). But his absence is likely to be felt in the way the Cardinals cover the other Eagles receivers. Specifically, they'll be able to devote more attention to Jackson with his fellow speedy field-stretcher on the sideline, and that will force the Eagles' passing game to rely of guys like Johnson and Avant to operate in tight spaces and make things happen after the catch.