Surgery for Cooper; Birds Look to McNutt
BETHLEHEM --- Eagles coach Andy Reid said Sunday that wide receiver Riley Cooper will have surgery Monday to set a plate into his broken left collarbone. Reid said Cooper should be sidelined about six weeks, which is pretty much what the Eagles have before their Sept. 9 season opener at Cleveland.
Reid said the team won't add a wideout, that he wants to see how some of the young guys look, from among the group of a dozen healthy WRs still in camp. He agreed that the most obvious benefactor from Cooper's absence is sixth-round pick Marvin McNutt, 6-2, 216, from Iowa.
McNutt looked slow, frankly, in noncontact spring work, but he looked much better Saturday, when the Eagles put on the pads for the first time.
"Spring went all right," McNutt said Sunday. "We were out there. I really just learned the offense. Kinda moving a little slow. If you don't know anything, you can't really move as fast as you want. Once you kind of get used to the situation and get used to the style of play, you can move a little faster."
Reid said McNutt "had a good day yesterday. It was good to see. He's a big, physical kid. You saw that, you saw him attack the football, make some big plays. You saw him on a quick screen, make some people miss."
Asked about McNutt's spring, Reid said learning the offense was a factor, and added: "He's a big kid, too. He's not going to look like DeSean coming off. He's a bigger body and very physical to the ball. When you put the pads on, that's his game."
The Eagles and other NFL teams continue to avoid Plaxico Burress like the plague. He's almost 35 years old and came out of jail to play last year for the Jets, who had the worst locker room in the league. Other than those minor concerns...
Jason Babin needs an MRI on the calf he strained Saturday in a 1-on-1 drill. Except, Babin swallowed one of those thermometer pills before Saturday's practice, which trainers use to monitor players' core temps. Babin can't have an MRI while the pill is still in there.
So, does head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder follow Babin around with a baggie and a shovel? Burkholder says no. When the presence of the pill is no longer an issue, the device used to read it won't register its presence. No further scrutiny required.
In case you yearn to hear more thermometer-pill lore, Burkholder recalled that former Eagles offensive tackle Jon Runyan was a difficult subject for monitoring -- Runyan would take the pill the night before, instead of just before practicing, and by the time he was monitored ... well, there was nothing for the device to read.
Keep in mind, this is the guy N.J. voters sent to Congress.
Brent Celek (knee) and Antonio Dixon (cramps) seem very close to returning. Andy Reid said not to expect Jason Babin this week.