Maclin was sidelined by a persistent viral illness. He got over it in the spring, but blood tests didn't start to come back normal until a few weeks ago.
The situation is more involved for Smith, who is coming back from knee microfracture surgery. By letting him practice, the Eagles were saying they were confident he would play sometime in the first 6 weeks of the season. Had he not practiced, Smith could have gone on the physically unable to perform list for the first 6 weeks, and wouldn't have counted on the 53-man roster. Practicing took away Smith's PUP eligibility.
When the Giants deferred a decision on re-signing Smith, leading to him reaching an accord with the Eagles, Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he felt Smith was 4-to-6 weeks away from practicing. Smith actually practiced in about 3 1/2 weeks.
"It was great just to be out there with my teammates and hearing the calls from Vick. It was really fun," Smith said Saturday. He added that he was not surprised to be able to practice this soon. "I was pretty ahead of schedule . . . It's going to be a test when I'm in press coverage and someone is pushing against me."
Smith was asked if he expects to be able to play Week 1.
"I think I'll be able to," he said. "It's up to what the coaches and trainers want me to do. I'm feeling good, and as long as we have no setbacks, that's what I'm shooting for."
Hanson awaits fate
Eagles corner Joselio Hanson understands the situation. Team president Joe Banner confirmed last week that the team is no longer actively shopping Asante Samuel. Banner said the offers the team has gotten don't interest the Eagles.
This makes Hanson a $2 million a year fourth veteran corner, on a team with a third-round rookie corner, Curtis Marsh, and a fourth-round rookie from last season, Trevard Lindley. The Eagles are believed to be actively shopping Hanson, who probably won't net more than a conditional draft pick.
"I'm just takin' it in stride," Hanson, 30, said Saturday. "It's part of the business. I'm aware of everything that's going on. I love it here, but sometimes, certain things don't work out."
Hanson said he isn't worried that there won't be playing time for him here, in a very crowded defensive backfield, if he somehow stays with the team he has played for since 2006.
"I'll get on the field somehow," he said. "I would love to stay here . . . Sometimes you can't keep everybody, in certain situations."
There are former Eagles coaches sprinkled around the league who know Hanson's work. He has been a solid nickel corner and a special teams stalwart. John Harbaugh is in Baltimore, Sean McDermott is in Carolina, Steve Spagnuolo in St. Louis, Pat Shurmur (and ex-Eagles general manager Tom Heckert) in Cleveland.
"I think I have a good reputation with all my ex-coaches," Hanson said. "But staying here would be great . . . [leaving] would be tough."
Offensive tackle Ryan Harris' back surgery, delayed by Hurricane Irene, is scheduled for today . . . The Eagles need to cut three more players to get to 80 by tomorrow.