James Casey injury: Eagles TE undergoes knee surgery

USA TODAY Sports

Casey is expected to play an integral role in Chip Kelly's new offense. How long until he can get back onto the practice field?

The Eagles gave tight end James Casey a three-year deal for $14.5 million in free agency because he's expected to have the right skillset to be very valuable to Chip Kelly in the new Philly offense. His progress in learning that offense on the field, however, will be delayed after Casey underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to remove loose cartilage. Early reports suggested that Casey hadn't yet undergone the procedure, but USA Today's Mike Garafolo updated that to note that Casey already had the surgery and is now in recovery.

Casey is expected to miss the rest of the spring but should be ready for training camp.

More at Eagles blog Bleeding Green Nation: Kenny Phillips says knee is "good"

Casey, a fifth-round pick by the Texans out of Rice in 2009, caught a career-high 34 passes for 330 yards and 3 touchdowns last season for Houston. Used as a fullback-tight end hybrid, Casey is expected to play a big role in the Eagles' offense, with Kelly planning to use more two-tight end sets and Casey filling an "Aaron Hernandez" role with Philly.

Emulating those kinds of new game plans can take time to learn and develop and Casey will now have a setback in that regard, but he should be back well before the season. Hopefully for the Eagles, that's enough time.

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