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What you need to know from Steelers-Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles survived a pair of injury scares to key offensive players in Thursday night's preseason victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After entering the game with a sore toe, LeSean McCoy was sent to the locker room for X-rays on his thumb late in the first quarter. The results came back negative for fractures and ligament tears.

McCoy produced a 22-yard touchdown with a beautifully executed screen play just prior to his trip to the locker room.

Whereas McCoy's injury was tough to spot in real time, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin dropped to the ground and immediately clutched his surgically repaired right knee when it buckled as he tried to plant. Just when it appeared that Maclin had re-torn his ACL, he popped up and walked off the field.

Proving that he was none the worse for the scare, Maclin went right back in the game and caught the first pass on the next series. He ended up leading the team with eight first-half targets.

While the incident is a reminder that Maclin has never been a picture of durability, he and McCoy should be full-go for the Eagles' season opener.

Here's what else you need to know from Thursday's game:

  1. If this game was the Steelers' dress rehearsal, Ben Roethlisberger can't be happy with his supporting cast. Presumed No. 2 receiver Markus Wheaton had a bad drop and communication issues. Justin Brown started in place of slot receiver Lance Moore (undisclosed), but failed to haul in a single pass. Roethlisberger flirted with a single-digit passer rating in the first half. This offense has the talent to be successful, but Thursday's performance was the opposite of encouraging.
  1. Le'Veon Bell started at tailback hours after being charged with possession of marijuana and DUI. Bell is an every-down back, but fantasy football leaguers should note that he's not an every-series back. LeGarrette Blount is sharing carries, as coach Mike Tomlinstated last week.
  1. Pittsburgh's playmaking rookies Dri Archer and Ryan Shazier were quiet after producing highlight-reel plays earlier in the preseason. Shazier had trouble shedding blocks, which was a knock coming out of Ohio State.
  1. The Steelers suffered a couple of injuries of their own. Pass rusher Jason Worilds exited with a knee injury in the third quarter, but his knee is fine structurally, per Ian Rapoport. Backup linebacker Sean Spence suffered a PCL injury to his right knee, which is not the one that was shattered two years ago. Starting defensive end Cameron Heyward sprained his ankle.
  1. Nick Foles passed for 179 yards in the first half -- and didn't look all that impressive doing it. Continuing a preseason trend, Foles was well off-target on at least a handful of throws. Chip Kelly's scheme is good enough to manufacture offense even when his quarterback is having ball-placement issues.
  1. Mark Sanchez continued his bid for the coveted (and mythical) Preseason MVP award with a pair of third-quarter touchdown drives. Through three August games, Sanchez has completed 25-of-31 passes (80.7 percent) for 281 yards (9.1 yards per attempt), two touchdowns and one interception. The Jets could use a quarterback like that.
  1. As excited as we are for a potential Zach Ertz breakout season, Brent Celek isn't going away. Celek continues to take brutal hits, pop right back up and come through with big catches as the Eagles' No. 1 tight end.
  1. Jordan Matthews saw plenty of first-team action in the slot, between Maclin and Riley Cooper. Veteran Brad Smith had been ahead of Matthews on the depth chart, but we fully expect the rookie to enter the season as the primary slot receiver. He's the NFL's leading receiver this preseason.
  1. With Chris Polk sidelined by a hamstring injury, second-year power back Matthew Tucker joined Darren Sproles in a tandem attack when McCoy was sent to the locker room. Tucker now leads the NFL with four touchdowns this preseason. He appears to be battling with Henry Josey and recently acquired Kenjon Barner for one roster spot.

*The "Around the League Podcast" AFC Season Preview is here. You're welcome. *

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