Three and out: Time for concern with Maclin

Jeremy Maclin leaves Eagles: Howard Eskin of 610WIP SportsRadio in Philadelphia is reporting on his Twitter page that Maclin has gone back to St. Louis to determine the illness that has kept him off the football field. Maclin, who hasn’t practiced in training camp, has reportedly looked thin as a result of the illness. According to Eskin, there is now “growing concern [Maclin] won’t be ready to start season.” While the main concern is Maclin’s health, fantasy owners do need to monitor this situation. If the illness lingers or is diagnosed as something serious, the third-year wideout becomes far more of a risk in drafts. It also bears noting that the team signed Steve Smith, which could be an indication that there’s concern in the organization about Maclin’s status.

Cooley’s knee is an issue: Speaking of players to worry about, Chris Cooley is clearly on that list. The veteran tight end, who had knee surgery back in January, was held out of practice on Wednesday and won’t play in Friday’s preseason opener against the Steelers due to what’s being called soreness. What’s more, Rich Campbell of the Washington Times reported on his Twitter page that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has admitted that Cooley’s knee “is a concern.” If this continues to be an issue, the Utah State product will be tough to draft outside of the late rounds. Furthermore, Cooley’s absence could open the door for Fred Davis to see more snaps and emerge into a potential early-season sleeper. Clearly, this is a situation to watch.

Knox listed as second string: The Bears released their initial depth chart this week, and it came with a few surprises. Devin Hester, who was mostly invisible in fantasy land last season, is listed as a starter. The team also listed Roy Williams, not Johnny Knox, as the other starting wideout. While depth charts change more than the weather in New England, the fact that Williams has already passed Knox needs to be noted. Remember, Williams had his best statistical seasons while playing for OC Mike Martz in Detroit. Whether he can do it again remains to be seen, but he’s currently the Bears wideout to target in fantasy drafts. Knox is still worth a look in the middle to late rounds, but his chances of being a sleeper in his third NFL season have taken a hit.

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