On the same day that the Eagles opened the preseason against the Ravens, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin underwent a laproscoptic prodcedure in St. Louis, 15 miles from where he grew up, unsure of whether or not he had lymphoma.
On Sunday, Maclin will be in St. Louis once again. This time, under much happier circumstances as the Eagles open the regular season against the Rams.
"Not only do I get to play, but I get to open the season in my hometown. That's pretty special," Maclin said. "I'm definitely looking forward to this not only because it's back in my home town but I'm ready for football. In training camp, they really hit on a lot of this stuff but I wasn't really a part of it, so it'll be nice to get back out there and hit somebody else."
The procedure that Maclin had done in early August ruled out lymphoma and the Eagles were confident that a mystery illness that plagued the outstanding third-year receiver all offseason was not life-threatening. Maclin has practiced for the past few weeks and head coach Andy Reid said that Maclin is at the point where he is taking all of his normal reps.
"You never want to put yourself in a position where you hurt the team," Maclin said. "You always have to be honest whether you are hurting and you're tired, and that goes for anyone on the football field. My conditioning is fine and everything, so I'll be OK."
Maclin posted Pro Bowl-type numbers last season with 70 catches for 964 yards and 10 touchdowns, which was tied for seventh in the league. The 6-0, 198-pound Maclin has 126 catches for 1,737 yards and 14 touchdowns in just two NFL seasons.
And now that he's inched his way back to football shape, those numbers will continue to rise hopefully this Sunday in his hometown.
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