Eagles Place ‘Vertical Threat’ on IR, Intend to ‘Ramp Up’ Veteran WR

Jalen Reagor

Getty Eagles WR Jalen Reagor is dealing with a thumb injury, on top of the torn labrum he suffered in camp.

The Eagles confirmed what has been reported for a week: Jalen Reagor is heading to IR.

Philadelphia placed their top rookie on injured reserve on Wednesday and he’ll be out at least three weeks as he heals up from thumb surgery. Reagor suffered a ligament tear in his thumb against the Rams in Week 2 but toughed it out and finished the game. The earliest he can return to action will be Week 7 versus New York.

The 21st overall pick has five catches for 96 yards, including a beautiful 55-yarder in the season opener, while serving as the team’s top vertical threat. Reagor was also taking turns with Greg Ward as the No. 1 punt returner on special teams.

“Obviously we are disappointed for Jalen. We felt like he was really growing into his role, and they are still young players,” quarterbacks coach and passing-game coordinator Press Taylor told reporters last week. “They miss an offseason of these physical reps — they are learning every single day as they go and they will, and this is obviously unfortunate for him but these other guys have done a great job.”

Meanwhile, the Eagles activated sixth-rounder Quez Watkins to the 21-day practice window and he’ll likely take both Reagor’s spot on the active roster as well as his role on offense. Philly is down to two fully healthy receivers in Greg Ward and John Hightower, with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (lower body), DeSean Jackson (hamstring), Alshon Jeffery (foot) on the mend.

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Jeffery Getting ‘Ramped Up’ This Week

Jeffery participated in back-to-back practices last week as a limited participant but was ruled out for Week 3. It was the first time he saw the field in almost 10 months as he battles back from Lisfranc surgery on his foot. Optimism is running high for the veteran receiver and the Eagles need every ounce of his 6-foot-3 frame.

On Monday, head coach Doug Pederson revealed the team intended to “ramp him up a little bit more” this week. He’ll likely be a game-time decision, depending on how he handles an increased workload during practices. Jeffery had 43 catches for 490 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games in 2019.

“He came out of last week good,” Pederson told reporters on Monday. “We’re going to ramp him up a little bit more this week, give him a little bit more this week, and we’ll see where he’s at at the end of the week.”

Jeffery, of course, has been the focal point of rampant trade speculation dating back to last season. The Eagles decided to keep him on the active roster rather than put him on the regular-season PUP list coming out of training camp, a move that would have cost him the first six weeks of the season. Time will tell if that was wise.

“Alshon will get some work in a little bit this week again,” Pederson told reporters on Wednesday. “We’re trying to increase his workload to get him back to playing here soon.”

Jackson Misses Practice, Listed Day-to-Day

Meanwhile, Jackson’s hamstring may be a bit more serious in nature than originally thought. The 33-year-old saw 28 offensive snaps against Cincinnati, plus dropped back for a punt return, before leaving last week’s game. He made two catches for 11 yards on four targets as he continues to struggle to get into a rhythm with Carson Wentz.

The receiver was diagnosed with a “minor strain” that wouldn’t require surgery, but he missed Wednesday’s practice and his status for Week 4 is in jeopardy. Jackson is being listed day-to-day, according to Pederson.

“DeSean is a little more [serious],” Pederson said. “He won’t practice today, but he’s more day-to-day with his injury.”

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