Eagles Protect ‘Fastest Player’ on Roster, Possible New Kick Returner

Adrian Killins

Getty Adrian Killins surprisingly went undrafted out of Central Florida.

The Eagles protected the “fastest player” on the roster. His name is Adrian Killins.

When Philadelphia went about creating their track team of skill players this offseason, they didn’t bank on an undrafted rookie stealing the show. Killins, the human blur from Central Florida, has been toiling down on the practice squad for weeks awaiting his first NFL snap.

On Tuesday, the 22-year-old was one of four players protected and might finally get a chance to showcase his elite 4.39 speed. Killins was ruled untouchable, along with receivers Deontay Burnett and Travis Fulgham and center Luke Juriga.

That means no rival team can poach them off the Eagles’ practice squad ahead of Sunday. It’s a sneaky cat-and-mouse game that Philly took full advantage of when they stole Hakeem Butler from the Panthers on Tuesday. The explosive tight end out of Iowa State may have a role on Sunday since Dallas Goedert was officially placed on short-term IR.

Meanwhile, Killins may have a legitimate shot at a call-up to the active roster in Week 4 as the Eagles search for a spark on special teams. Greg Ward is the current punt returner, with Boston Scott handling kickoff returns. Killins racked up 47 kick returns for 1,025 yards and one touchdown at UCF where he built up a cult-like following. No one would dare challenge him to a race.

“I’ve always been the fastest person on the football team,” Killins told reporters during training camp. “There are always guys that want to challenge me and think they’re faster than me, but I held the crown all four years at UCF being the fastest player on the team. And here at the Philadelphia Eagles, I feel like I’m the fastest player on the team as well.”

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DeSean Jackson Sees Time on Returns

It was only one play but it brought back images of that miraculous afternoon in New Jersey simply known as the “Miracle at the New Meadowlands.” DeSean Jackson entered Eagles immortality that day when he raced a punt return back for a touchdown as time expired to complete an epic comeback win over the Giants.

The Eagles tried to capture some nostalgic lightning in a bottle in Week 3 when they threw Jackson out for a punt return against Cincinnati. He didn’t field the punt and later left the game with a hamstring injury, so there was no magic a decade later for Jackson. However, his presence on special teams left the door open for future returns.

“We’re excited about getting him back there. We’ll see if it continues,” special teams coordinator Dave Fipp said of Jackson. “We did not put him in later in the game because he had gone out, but our plan was to use him a little bit and try to get him involved. Obviously, we know he’s an explosive player back there, so we’ll see how that goes going forward.”

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