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Riley Cooper to fill void left by Jeremy Maclin on Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles are more equipped than most teams to handle a loss to a starting wide receiver. With Jeremy Maclin out for the season, the team's skill-position depth should shine through.

First up with a chance to take Maclin's starting job? Fourth-year pro Riley Cooper. He knows it.

"I've got to step up, and I've got to fulfill that role," Cooper told NFL.com's Jeff Darlington on Sunday.

Darlington indicated Monday on NFL Network's "NFL AM" that Eagles brass made it clear Cooper is first in line to take Maclin's job. Cooper said he is very close to Maclin and almost cried when he saw Maclin tear his ACL in Saturday's practice. But Maclin knows it's an "opportunity" to star like he's never had before.

"I've got to play Riley Cooper's game," Cooper said, via CSNPhilly.com, showing a starter-worthy use of the third person. "I'm not Jeremy Maclin by any means. We have different styles of play. Am I confident in my game? Absolutely."

Cooper was effective as a starter for three games in 2011, but he was quiet last season in a reserve role after missing time with a broken collarbone. Cooper, like Maclin, is entering a contract year.

Damaris Johnson, Arrelious Benn and Jason Avant also might get more snaps, but this is Cooper's job to lose. Fantasy owners, take note.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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