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What we learned Tuesday: Receiver carnage continues

Wide receivers continue to drop like flies in training camp. On the same day that Jeremy Maclin underwent successful surgery to repair to his ACL tear, he saw both his best friend and a fellow Philadelphia Eagles receiver go down with the same injury.

Arrelious Benn became the third player in Eagles camp to be lost for the season with a torn left ACL. Minutes later, the San Diego Chargers confirmed that Danario Alexander -- tight with Maclin from their days together at Mizzou -- had torn his right ACL. Earlier in the day, the Green Bay Packers announced that Jordy Nelson would miss the remainder of training camp after undergoing knee surgery of his own.

Benn joins Maclin in tearing his ACL for the second time, two shy of Alexander's total. We've seen Thomas Davis of the Panthers, Terrell Thomas of the Giants, Owen Daniels of the Texans and rookie Michael Mauti of the Vikings undergo three ACL surgeries, but Alexander is the only NFL player we know of with four separate tears. It's worth noting that former Broncos offensive lineman and current ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth underwent 29 surgeries -- including 20 on his knees.

We can't help but feel for Alexander, whose troublesome left knee finally stayed intact long enough for him to showcase No. 1 receiver ability after joining the Chargers at mid-season last year, as he finished fourth in the NFL in touchdown-to-target ratio. If there's a silver lining, it's that this is the first time Alexander's right knee has given him trouble.

Second chances

Following a four-day hiatus, Riley Cooper rejoined his Philadelphia Eagles teammates Tuesday. Slot receiver Jason Avant insists the Eagles players are "definitely over" the racially insensitive remark that led to Cooper's sabbatical. It's evident at this point that Cooper's roster spot is secure.

Quotes of the Day

» Peter King of TheMMQB.com asked Peyton Manning if he sought Tom Brady's advice on throwing to Wes Welker. Manning's response: "I didn't go there. That's a little awkward. Tom called me and told me how much I'm gonna enjoy him, that he's one of, if not his favorite, teammate of all time."

» Bill Belichick on new Eagles' coach Chip Kelly's innovative style: "What [Chip] did at Oregon, that was one thing. We'll see how it all plays out here, but he's a very innovative, creative guy. He's got a great mind, he's smart and I think he'll take advantage of whatever resources he can. He'll give us plenty of trouble."

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Cool Cat award

Calling it the "coolest thing I've ever done," Sidney Rice surprised a fan in Zurich last week when he flew 10,000 miles to Switzerland for a 20-minute procedure on his knee. The fan reached out via Twitter, inviting the Seattle Seahawks receiver over for barbecue and a friendly game of "Madden," which Rice lost. "It came down to the very last second," Rice said. "They beat me on a field goal at the very last second, 26-23. ... They were pretty stoked. That was pretty cool."

Stock up

» Coach Jeff Fisher said Tuesday that Daryl Richardson is the favorite for the St. Louis Rams' starting running-back job due to his experience edge on the competition.

» Rookie Eddie Lacy handled the first rep in every running-back drill Tuesday after a strong showing in Saturday night's scrimmage.

» Undrafted rookies Kenbrell Thompkins and Zach Sudfeld continue to make noise in Patriots training camp, allowing Tom Brady to keep the offense clicking despite the roster turnover.

» Deonte Thompson is running as the Ravens' first-team slot receiver ahead of Tandon Doss, David Reed and LaQuan Williams. It's an odd fit for a downfield threat who claims he once ran a 4.20-second 40-yard dash at Florida.

» Tight end Coby Fleener has made "wow" plays throughout Indianapolis Colts training camp, general manager Ryan Grigson told Scott Pioli of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN. "The first (breakout) player that would come to mind would be Coby Fleener," Grigson said. "Knock on wood, he's a guy that you knew had speed, had size being 6-foot-6 and running 4.51 [seconds in the 40-yard dash]. You know he could be a tough mismatch downfield because he could play above the rim."

» DeSean Jackson continued a dominant training camp by toasting cornerback Aqib Talib in Tuesday's scrimmage with the Patriots.

Stock down

» Not yet back to full health following microfracture and ACL surgery, former Giants tight end Jake Ballard is in jeopardy of not making the Patriots' roster.

» Speaking of roster spots in peril, an inflamed hamstring has Browns second-round pick Montario Hardesty up against the ropes.

» Still learning Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman's offense, Jay Cutler tossed four interceptions and had just as many passes batted down in Tuesday's practice.

» Bryce Brown could be losing his grip on the Eagles' No. 2 running-back job, as Chris Polk has been a more natural fit in Chip Kelly's offense.

Trainer's room

» Randall Cobb was forced from Packers practice with a biceps injury Tuesday, though NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports it's "not serious."

» Rapoport also reports Jared Allen merely has a "little tweak" after rolling his ankle in Vikings practice Tuesday.

» Rashard Mendenhall returned from his patellar tendinitis to participate in Tuesday's practice. Unfortunately, the Cardinals lost another running back, sixth-round pick Andre Ellington, to an undisclosed injury in his head/neck area.

» Running back Ben Tate returned to Texans practice Tuesday after sitting out the weekend with a tight groin. Arian Foster has yet to be activated after opening camp on the active/PUP list with a strained calf.

» Julio Jones (hamstring) and Trent Richardson (shin) are both likely to be held out of their teams' preseason openers, though neither injury is a grave concern. If this was Week 1 of the regular season, it's a good bet both would be suiting up.

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