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James Casey might miss Eagles OTAs after knee scope

The Philadelphia Eagles are down a tight end after James Casey underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Thursday.

An Eagles spokesman told USA Today that Casey might miss the rest of the spring because of a procedure to clean out loose cartilage, but the fifth-year player sounds optimistic he'll return much sooner.

The Eagles are in fair shape at tight end, with Brent Celek and rookie Zach Ertz atop the depth chart in Casey's absence. That duo is backed up by sometimes-linebacker Clay Harbor and the recently signed Will Shaw. Still, Casey was brought to Philly to play more than tight end.

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He wasn't used creatively by the Houston Texans -- playing mostly fullback -- but Casey figures to line up all over the place as coach Chip Kelly's "Joker" in Philly. He recorded just 34 catches last season, but people forget Casey caught an outrageous 111 balls during his final campaign at Rice.

We expect Kelly to use him liberally.

It's not unfair to view Casey as a potential poor-man's Aaron Hernandez heading into the 2013 NFL season -- but not until he's back on the field.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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