The Philadelphia Eagles just can’t catch a break at wide receiver.
It won’t be long now. The Philadelphia Eagles are really going to play a football game on September 13th. Can you believe it? That definitely qualifies as good news. The bad news is this. Less than two weeks before the season starts, it’s the same old story for the wide receiver corps. It’s been hard for guys to stay healthy.
If this is the type of news that you’ve grown tired of hearing, you are far from alone. After a myriad of injured ravaged the position in 2019, the ‘Birds’ surely thought they would catch a break this year by drafting three young prospects in the most recent NFL Draft. That hasn’t been the case.
In 2019, ‘Birds’ fans suffered through an unhealthy season for Nelson Agholor, DeSean Jackson, and Alshon Jeffery. This year, ‘D-Jax’ seems to look a lot like his old self, at least at the start of training camp. Jeffery is on the PUP list, meaning he’s physically unable to perform and won’t be ready for the season opener. Then, there are the rookies.
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In addition to what’s gone on with a shattered offensive line, rookie Jalen Reagor sustained a shoulder injury while trying to make a tackle after a Jalen Hurts interception during Philly’s August 30th scrimmage at Lincoln Financial Field. and both John Hightower and Quez Watkins have missed time at practice.
Geoff Mosher of InsidetheBirds.com reports Reagor could miss up to four weeks. While the hope was once that a second opinion could allow him to come back earlier, other reports state that Mosher might be spot on. All of a sudden, the spotlight is on Philly’s fifth-round selection from the Boise State Broncos.
Hightower has a clearer path to the Philadelphia Eagles starting lineup.
We don’t know if Reagor was going to be part of the Eagles starting lineup in the season opener or not, but we did know that he would be given a major role. He was having a good training camp and developing chemistry with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. ‘D-Jax’ will occupy one starting spot on the outside. We know that. The question is who will be on the other side of that formation?
Will it be JJ Arcega-Whiteside? Most likely, it will, but now that Reagor is out of the equation, at least for the moment, John Hightower could see a lot of the snaps that the ‘Birds’ intended to give to the man they call ‘Reag’. Wow. Remember when everyone thought he’d wind up on the practice squad thanks to the numbers game?
Hightower was selected four rounds and 147 spots after Reagor went 21st overall. Since then, he’s been making a name for himself, especially this Summer. He’s been more than just another body. He looks good. He looks relatively polished. He looks like he belongs.
Once Reagor is healthy, Hightower’s role could decrease. In the meantime, the Eagles’ brass has to make sure they give the former Broncos receiver a chance to show what he has. As inspiring as Greg Ward‘s story has been, we may already know what his ceiling is. We also know that ‘D-Jax’ could be in and out of the lineup at some point.
It’s critical to get Hightower some experience and see what he can do. Injuries can and will strike at any given time. The Eagles depth at wide receiver has already been tested. Let’s hope that they are better prepared to deal with that aspect of the game than they were a season ago. Hightower might be the best proof we have that they are.