Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin returned to his hometown of St. Louis on Thursday to undergo further testing that will attempt to identify the mysterious illness that has afflicted him since April.
The 23-year-old Maclin lost 15 pounds this spring after experiencing what he called "mono-like" symptoms. He regained the weight in May but has yet to take the practice field since the Eagles began training camp. Other than some light participation in training drills, Maclin has yet to practice.
Eagles coach Andy Reid says he expects Maclin by the start of the season. His timetable sounds optimistic given the length of the illness, Maclin's lack of practice and the trip back to St. Louis.
Last season, the former University of Missouri star had 70 catches for 964 yards and 10 touchdowns.
On Wednesday, Philadelphia signed former New York Giants receiver Steve Smith, who is recovering from microfracture knee surgery and isn't expected to play until midseason. The team says the signing isn't related to Maclin's condition.
It's not like the Eagles could say anything different to the press, I suppose, but that statement rings of disingenuousness. Signing a safety wouldn't have anything to do with Maclin. Getting a receiver certainly does. Whether there's deeper meaning to bringing in Smith or not, the Eagles were concerned enough about their receiving corps to bring in another potential starter.
At this point, all that talk is secondary. Maclin's health is the most important issue. Hopefully the trip to St. Louis will shed some light on his illness.