“If somebody's missing, somebody else gets an opportunity,'' Reid said. “And they've got to take advantage of it.”
It's not a major surprise that Maclin won't play because he didn't practice much this week. But the same thing happened last week with a different result -- Maclin played against Baltimore. Maclin aggravated the injury against the Ravens and now the Eagles want to give it a chance to heal completely.
The players who are going to be mixed and matched don't mind their roles as Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg figure how to move them around.
“That's our job,'' Avant said.
Avant is used to the treatment. He's a seven-year veteran and he's been the Eagles' No. 3 receiver his entire career, as well as the one who usually steps in when a starter is injured. But there isn't much experience behind him. Avant has more than 200 receptions in his career, but Johnson and Mardy Gilyard have a total of eight receptions between them.
“It's really an opportunity for these young guys to step up,'' Avant added. “You wouldn't be on the 53-man roster if you weren't a good player. Those guys have made plays in the past and now they'll get a chance to do it again.”
Johnson, who wasn't drafted, made the team mainly because of his ability as a punt returner. He also impressed the coaches in the preseason with his ability to make plays in the passing game. Now he'll get a chance to do it in the regular season.
“A big part of my job is to be ready to step in if necessary,'' Johnson said. “And when I step in, I don't want there to be a drop-off. When you get an opportunity like this, you have to step up.''
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles from blogger Kevin Noonan, follow @CBSEagles.