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5 thoughts on how Eagles losing Jalen Reagor will impact the offense


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5 thoughts on how Eagles losing Jalen Reagor will impact the offense


The Eagles injury list has become a version of medical Hokey Pokey. You place wide receiver Alshon Jeffery in, and you take wide receiver DeSean Jackson out. You add safety Rudy Ford in, and you take defensive tackle Javon Hargrave out. Now, add Jalen Reagor as an "in” after suffering a UCL tear in his thumb during last Sunday’s game.

According to reports, Reagor could be out until Nov. 15. The news of Reagor’s injury has placed the wide receiver position in flux once again, especially after the rookie was drafted to help reshape the receiving corps.

Here are five thoughts about the loss of Jalen Reagor

1. Carson Wentz just lost his No. 2 wide receiver and he’s already struggling

For a quarterback that is going through his own struggles, Wentz loses one of his top weapons. As a rookie, Reagor has seen a lot of time on the field. Reagor has been on the field for 72% of the offensive snaps this season (101 of the 140).

Although he currently is tied for fourth on the team in targets with 8, he was tied for second for targets amongst the wide receivers and third on the team in overall receiving yards (96). Reagor is thought of as a player who could take a short pass and make a big play because of his speed and quickness.

Reagor’s injury comes at a bad time for a quarterback with a sub-60% completion percentage (58.8). It also means teams can focus their game plans more around Jackson, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Wentz also like to work the middle of the field. According to Pro Football Focus, all of Wentz’s targets to Reagor were thrown when the receiver was in between the numbers, including the 55-yard pass Reagor caught from Wentz.

2. The need for speed is back

Reagor’s speed placed a lot of pressure on opposing defenses, and they made adjustments accordingly. The earliest case came last week against the Rams. The threat of having Reagor and Jackson running deep routes forced the Rams defense to keep two safeties deep to prevent a deep play from occurring.

There is not a lot of options available to replace Reagor. Fellow rookie wide receiver Quez Watkins is still on injured reserve, leaving Jackson and another rookie, John Hightower, as the only other speed options. Hightower has not been consistent in the first couple of games and has one catch for -2 yards. Wentz made a concerted effort to target Jackson in the second half of the season, but the absence of another speedy receiver means a defense only has to use one safety shaded toward Jackson’s side of the field, freeing up the other safety to cover other receivers or play closer to the line of scrimmage.

3. Depth at wide receiver takes a major hit

With Reagor likely headed to injured reserve, the Eagles currently have four wide receivers who are healthy enough to take the field Sunday against Cincinnati (Jackson, Hightower, Greg Ward, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside). Combined, the position has produced 15 catches for 144 yards, with Hightower and Arcega-Whiteside garnering one catch and -2 yards between the two of them. Arcega-Whiteside has also haWard has also been used primarily in the short passing game in the middle of the field, averaging six yards a catch.

4. Internal options are limited and inexperienced

There are a few options the Eagles can go to in order to try to replicate the attributes Reagor brought to the offense. Wide receivers Deontay Burnett and Travis Fulgham are available to bring up from the practice squad. The team is also looking at bringing back a familiar face to the team.

Burnett was one of the standouts during training camp, but the numbers at the position did not go in his favor. During Wednesday’s practice, he joined Ward as the two players who were back catching punts during the special teams period. Fulgham is more of a possession-type receiver and not a player who can stretch the field and be a threat on a deep pass. Burnett has played in six NFL games and caught 12 catches for 191 yards. He may be the best internal option the team has at this point.

The other long shot option could be Adrian Killins. The team was trying Killins out at wide receiver, a departure from his natural running back position. Killins also provides the ability to go back and act as a return man, something Reagor did in his first two games this season.

5. Timeline could force early returns

Seven weeks is an eternity in the NFL. A lot of things can change, and a team could go from being in the mix for a playoff spot to looking toward the draft. If the team digs itself into a deeper hole, Jeffery and Watkins could press to get back into the lineup, possibly coming back a week or two before they are scheduled to return. Jeffery already knows the offense well, and he would have to get his timing down with Wentz. As for Watkins, it is not just timing he will have to get acclimated to, but the NFL game as a whole due to him never playing in an NFL game.


Losing Reagor is big. I mean they are one DeSean injury away, and let's be honest that's not that unlikely, from having zero deep threat once again...

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12 hours ago, PoconoDon said:

It'll provide more in game experience for the other young guys.

Yeah it really will. Hightower is going to have to be involved more perhaps Burnett will be involved too.

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