Jalen Reagor Discusses ‘Mental’ Healing, Risk of Re-injuring Torn Labrum

Jalen Reagor

Getty Eagles rookie Jalen Reagor redeemed himself after muffing his NFL punt return.

Sometimes injuries are more mental than physical, just block them out mentally and will it.

That was Jalen Reagor’s unbreakable mindset after the doctors initially told him he would miss four weeks, including Week 1. After suffering a small tear in his shoulder on Aug. 30, the Eagles’ first-round pick woke up the next morning and vowed to fight through it. There was no second opinion and no doubt in his mind.

“No, it wasn’t from a second opinion, it was from me. It’s mental,” Reagor told reporters when asked about it on Tuesday. “What injury?”

Not in his DNA. Reagor was determined to suit up and make his NFL debut against Washington on Sept. 13. Which he did.

“I just credit the training staff just getting me prepared for Week 1,” Reagor said. “When I got hurt, they told me initially that I would be out for four weeks. I looked at it as a challenge, like four weeks? Alright, we’ll see.”

Reagor played and made an immediate impact. He hauled in a 55-yard bomb from Carson Wentz in the first quarter that traveled 58.2 yards in the air. It was the third-longest catch by an Eagles rookie receiver. The speedster from TCU nearly tracked a 77-yard missile later in the first half that appeared to be overthrown. Reagor blamed himself for that missed connection.

“It was me. Instead of digging out, I looked up early and it was a tad short,” Reagor said. “So it was a great ball by Carson and I slowed down, and it’s the little things that matter.”

Back to the miraculously-healing injury for a second. Mind over matter is great, but how about any potential risk for reinjuring his torn labrum? Not a chance.

“It’s not the risk of re-injury. It’s just football, injuries happen, that’s the worst part of the game,” Reagor said. “I can’t be sitting here thinking about the risk of re-injuring it. I have to go out and give 100-percent of myself to the Philadelphia Eagles and that’s what I’m going to do.”

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Rookie Flashing Leadership & Maturity

Remember when Wentz compared Reagor to Julio Jones in training camp? One of the reasons he saw that in the youngster was due to his supreme route running and deceptive speed, so naturally he brought both those attributes up right before throwing that 55-yard dart. Reagor knew it was going to be a big play before it happened.

“You know, on that pass … Carson told me before, ‘Run this route, don’t lose your speed’ — and it was, what, 3rd-and-22? I was like, ‘Welp, I’m about to go make a play’ and it was fun,” Reagor said. “I just tried to make the most out of my opportunities.”

Reagor was actually targeted four times in Sunday’s loss, including a duck that was swiped by Washington’s Fabian Moreau. The rookie admitted that maybe “I could have done a better job with my route” on that one. In the meantime, he was happy to play the role of a cheerleader on the bench and tried to keep the morale up even when the Eagles watched a 17-0 lead evaporate.

“Me being a rookie doesn’t mean I can’t lead so I was picking the guys up, like J.J. [Arcega-Whiteside] and just trying to make sure we keep the morale up,” Reagor said. “We can’t let one game define us and we got to keep moving forward, climb the mountain every day.”

Rams Showed Interest in Reagor

The Los Angeles Rams were targeting a top receiver in April’s draft and took a long look at Reagor. The Texas native told Philly reporters on Tuesday that Sean McVay’s team “showed a lot of interest in me” and he enjoyed a formal meeting with them.

“We talked a bit,” Reagor said. “It went well.”

But the Rams didn’t own a first-round pick and Reagor (21st overall) was off the board by the time the second round rolled around. Los Angeles went with running back Cam Akers (52nd overall) and receiver Van Jefferson (57th overall). It wasn’t meant to be and now he’ll get to show them what they missed out on.

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