Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who led the team with 69 catches for 857 yards and seven touchdowns last season, tore the ACL in his right knee in a noncontact drill Saturday and is expected to be out for the season.
The team confirmed the injury on twitter.
It happened during a 7-on-7 drill when Maclin took a few steps off the line of scrimmage and dropped to the ground, writhing in pain.
The injury is especially bad timing for both Maclin and the Eagles. Maclin, the team's first-round draft pick out of Missouri in 2009 (19th overall), is entering a contract year. New head coach Chip Kelly was surely counting on him as a big part of a new, face-paced offense.
"It's terrible," offensive guard Evan Mathis told NJ.com. "Especially for somebody like Mac, who was all in. He eats, drinks, sleeps, breaths football."
Responding to support from teammates and fans, Maclin wrote on his Twitter account @JMAC_18, "Appreciate all the love and support the twitter fam. ... sad day but I have setbacks my entire life. Minor setback for a MAJOR comeback #birdgang."
Although DeSean Jackson is considered the Eagles' No. l receiver, he has been inconsistent, which elevated Maclin's importance due to his consistency.
During the 2010-2011 seasons, Maclin tied New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks with a league-best seven red-zone touchdowns.
Absent Maclin, the Eagles go to a depth chart that includes Jason Cooper, a significant 6-foot-3 target in the red zone and a good blocker. He caught 23 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns last year.
Coincidentally, the Eagles announced Saturday that 29-year-old wide receiver David Ball of New Hampshire was added to the roster.
Ball, 29, played for Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly at New Hampshire, when Kelly was offensive coordinator. Ball broke Jerry Rice's Division I-AA record for receiving touchdowns, with 58 and finished only 38 yards behind Rice with 3,955 receiving yards.
This is not the first time Maclin has been a cause for concern health-wise.
In August of 2010 he was carted from practice in training camp with what turned out to be a bone bruise. That year he caught 70 passes for 964 yards and 10 touchdowns.
In August of 2011, Maclin was placed on nonfootball injury list because of a lymphoma scare. However, it was determined he did not have cancer and the problem was an inflammatory virus.
---Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta suffered a dislocated hip and will miss at least six weeks, including the Ravens' opener in Denver.
The Ravens leading returning receiver collided with safety James Ihedigbo on a jump ball in the back of the end zone, NFL.com reported. Pitta covered his face with a towel as he was carted off the field.
He caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns during the Ravens' Super Bowl winning season last year.
---Despite Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo looking sharp early in training camp, it is unlikely he will see action in the Aug. 4's Hall of Fame game.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas-Ft. Worth on Friday that Romo might not make even a cameo in the extra preseason game on Aug. 4 when the Cowboys play the Dolphins.
"It's one of those deals where I suppose he could play five plays or whatever, but we might lean to no plays," Garrett said.. "But the clock starts on our [first-teamers] in Week 2 of the preseason. So that's not going to be Tony's game."
Romo had offseason surgery to remove a cyst from his back, causing him to miss the offseason program and to be limited in training camp, so far.
---Houston Texans running back Arian Foster does not know when he will be able to begin practice and will not rush back from a calf strain that has landed him on the Physically Unable to Perform list .
"You can't play through it," Foster told the Houston Chronicle. "It's not like you're playing through a broken collar bone. I've played through a lot of things, this is just something you can't. There's no reason to right now. I'm just going to take my time."
Foster was injured during organized team activities and has been rehabbing during the offseason. He can be taken off the PUP list at any time, but if he is on it after the second round of cuts, he won't be allowed to be activated for the first six weeks of the regular season.
---Tight end Mickey Shuler and offensive lineman Chris Scott were cut by the Buffalo Bills Saturday, even before they had a chance to take part in the team's first full squad workout at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, N.Y.
Scott, 6-foot-4, 360 pounds, was signed by the Bills off the Tennessee Titans practice squad last year.
Shuler was a seventh-round draft pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2010 and the Bills claimed him off waivers in May when he was let go by the Oakland Raiders.