Maclin's Ties to Docs Might Explain Trip

Jeremy Maclin has not practiced with the camp at training camp. (Ed Hille/Staff Photographer)

It's really strange to hear from WIP and Channel 10's Howard Eskin that Jeremy Maclin has returned home to St. Louis for medical tests. (A team spokesman subsequently confirmed the report.) Andy Reid has been talking about Maclin undergoing tests for more than a week, up at Eagles camp in Lehigh. Hard to conceive of any illness the Philadelphia medical community isn't sufficient to diagnose and treat.

But Maclin, the Eagles' top receiver last season, is from the suburbs of St. Louis, and you'll recall that he was more or less raised by the family of a youth football coach, Dr. Jeff Parres. Parres is a urologist, so I kinda doubt he's the one doing the tests right now, but obviously, Parres has deep connections in the medical community there, and no doubt, there are friends/associates he wants to assess this.

Those friends/associates had plenty of time to assess during the roughly six months from the time Maclin said he first fell ill with what he has described as a "mono-like" illness and when he reported to camp, but maybe the situation has changed somehow. Maybe there's a different diagnosis or possible direction the case has taken, that Maclin and Parres would like to double-check with the guys back home.

This is all speculation, because the team has never said what doctors think is wrong with Maclin or what the prognosis is. Maclin and team sources have denied dire rumors floating around the internet about life-threatening illnesses. (Not gonna repeat those here. You can probably guess.)

Team sources denied the signing of ex-Giants receiver Steve Smith Wednesday had anything to do with Maclin's situation. This makes sense in a way, because Smith, recovering from microfracture surgery, won't be playing anytime soon. But the Eagles had to know Maclin was going home for more tests when they signed Smith, even if they weren't willing to say so.

Right now, the significance of Maclin returning to St. Louis is this -- as long as he was at Lehigh, you figured he was trying to get ready to practice and might be out on the field soon. Now, it seems obvious that is not the case, that we are, if not back at square one, very close to that.

The Eagles open the regular season a month from today. In St. Louis, by the way. Let's hope Maclin flies there with them.