Eagles Twitter Destroys Jalen Reagor, Muffed Punt Explained

DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor

Getty Eagles receivers DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor walk off the field in disgust after losing in the 2021 NFL playoffs.

The decision to leave Jalen Reagor in the game after he muffed a punt early in the third quarter had many people scratching their heads. This wasn’t the first time that the first-round pick had failed on special teams.

In fact, Reagor made an ill-advised play on another punt in the fourth quarter when he bobbled it deep in his own territory. Scrambling to recover the loose ball, he took a 10-yard loss in garbage time with the game already out of reach. He finished with five punt returns for 35 yards in the Eagles’ 31-15 wild-card playoff loss.

Head coach Nick Sirianni was asked why Reagor was allowed to keep returning kicks after muffing the first one so badly. The score was only 17-0 at the time of his first miscue. The reason was a practical one. The team’s other punt returner, Greg Ward Jr., was out with back spasms. Remember, the Eagles left Jason Huntley inactive for the playoff contest.

“The muffed punt right there, the wind messed with him earlier in the game,” Sirianni explained. “It just looked like he misjudged it and came back. Whenever you have a mistake or something like that – it’s a big mistake, you’re always going to be like, what’s the next approach? Does Greg Ward go back there? Greg Ward had back spasms and he was out. We would have explored that opportunity but he [Reagor] got another punt and made a nice play and then he made a mistake again.”

The nice play came on a 31-yard punt return with 13:04 showing in the fourth quarter. Four minutes later, at the 9:01 mark of the fourth, was when Reagor bobbled it and lost 10 yards.

“He’s going to want those plays back and we’ll get back to the drawing board and fix those things,” Sirianni said. “But, as far as why we stayed with Jalen, I’m glad he made a play after that. Again, not happy with the one that happened after the play that he made but it was more about Greg not being available.”

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Eagles Twitter Wants Reagor Gone for Good

Sirianni can trot out as many excuses as he wants for keeping Reagor in the game. It doesn’t matter. The 2020 first-rounder – the guy selected one pick ahead of Justin Jefferson – has already been cut from the roster in the court of public opinion. He made one reception for two yards versus Tampa Bay after finishing with 299 yards on 33 receptions in the regular season.

Order Officially Set for 2022 NFL Draft

There is no more guessing about where the Eagles might pick in the 2022 NFL draft. All three of their first-round picks are locked in by virtue of their early playoff exit. Philadelphia owns the 15th overall, 16th overall, and 19th overall picks.

Now the fun begins as the Eagles decide whether they want to keep them and take three franchise-changing rookies, or package them up in a blockbuster trade for a veteran quarterback. Of course, they could use them to move up in the draft or do something completely off the wall. Everything is on the table.

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