‘Game-Changing’ Eagles Rookie Working ‘Back In’ on Punt Returns

Jalen Reagor

Getty Eagles rookie Jalen Reagor caught his first NFL TD against the Cowboys in Week 8.

Greg Ward grabbed lead punt returner from Jalen Reagor after the rookie fumbled in Week 1. The explosive burner out of Texas Christian has just two total returns for six yards. To be fair, Reagor has missed five games this season while battling two separate injuries so the sample size is small. He could see an increased role moving forward.

Special-teams coordinator Dave Fipp told reporters that Reagor’s lack of practice reps played a factor in him not getting on the field last week for any special-teams snaps. It’s something to keep an eye on as the 21st overall pick continues to get more comfortable back there. Remember, Reagor was a game-changer at TCU where he fielded 23 punts for 409 yards (17.8) and two touchdowns.

“We’ll see with Jalen. Obviously, he just got back,” Fipp said. “He had been not able to practice for a long time, we didn’t want to just throw him right back there in that situation but I’m sure as we get going, we’ll work him back in and see him more and more back there.”

It’s not that Ward has been bad as the main guy. He’s reliable and sure-handed — two very important attributes — but he lacks the breakaway speed to change momentum, and possibly take one back to the house. Ward has 11 returns for 72 yards. You may recall the Eagles threw DeSean Jackson back there for a crucial fourth-quarter punt return versus New York. Unfortunately, he was crushed on the play and fractured his right ankle.

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Reagor Scores First NFL Touchdown

Meanwhile, Reagor made the most of his return on the offensive side of the ball versus Dallas. The rookie receiver caught his first NFL touchdown on a two-yard strike from Carson Wentz at the end of the first quarter. He finished the game with three receptions for 16 yards on six total targets during the 23-9 win.

“It was a blessing. Patience is key,” Reagor told reporters after the game. “I believe what’s for you is what’s for you. So it was a blessing. It was surreal, surreal moment.”

Hopefully, Reagor can build off that momentum as he continues to establish chemistry with Wentz. The duo just missed on a few would-be completions late in the Cowboys’ contest.

“Like I said, it’s just doing better on my part,” Reagor said, “and just making sure we get the reps in practice throughout the week and just keep going back to work.”

Rookie Shares ‘Library’ Quote on Social Media

The fleet-footed receiver had been drawing criticism last month for appearing to call out Eagles fans on social media. Some of the posts were deleted but included references to throwing snowballs at Santa Claus and challenging people to be “on the right side.” There has been much debate about whether the franchise made a mistake by taking Reagor over Justin Jefferson who has been setting records in Minnesota.

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Of course, Jefferson has had the benefit of health while Reagor has dealt with two separate debilitating injuries. It’s way too early to make that argument. But Reagor must have known he crossed the line with the rabid Philly fan base because his recent posts have been more subdued saying things like: “Keep quiet like libraries” and “Only Positivity in this space.”

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