Philadelphia Eagles have a potential X-factor in Travis Fulgham

Travis Fulgham #13, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Travis Fulgham #13, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagles have not had a single wide receiver surpass the 1000-yards receiving mark since Jeremy Maclin did so back during the 2013-14 season with 1318 yards. That was supposed to change with the selection of Jalen Reagor in 2020, but injuries and inconsistency limited Reagor to 11 games, only 396 receiving yards receiving, and a single touchdown in his rookie season.

DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia’s first-round pick in this year’s draft, was brought in to create one of the league’s better one-two punches at the position but has suffered an MCL sprain. His status for the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 1 contest versus the Atlanta Falcons is currently unknown.

Enter Travis Fulgham, the team’s leading receiver from the 2020 season. In 13 games with the team, the ODU product was able to pull in 38 receptions for 539 yards and four touchdowns. That’s pretty solid production for a wideout that didn’t suit up until the fourth game of that season.

As a matter of fact, there was a five-game stretch during the 2020 campaign in which Fulgham looked to be on the verge of having a breakout season. His run was highlighted by an unexpected showcase against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He hauled in ten of his 13 targets for 152 yards and a score. He also led the NFL in receiving yards during that same stretch.

So why did Fulgham’s production for the Philadelphia Eagles lessen?

Well, that’s a rather easy question to answer from the outside looking in. Fulgham’s waning production coincided with the return of former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey, which heavily ate into his snap count.

Things began with a Monday Night Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Fulgham was on the field for roughly 52 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, and his snap-count routinely dipped and dropped below 50 percent with an all-time low 16 percent in the team’s win over the New Orleans Saints.

For what it’s worth, Fulgham seems to be a team player. A recent tweet by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane echoed those sentiments:

Now that Jeffrey is no longer with the Philadelphia Eagles, Fulgham will have an easier path to consistent snaps throughout the season. With Smith and Reagor presumably being given every opportunity to start, he will need to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he belongs on the field over the likes of Greg Ward, Quez Watkins, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, John Hightower, and others.

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This will likely mean that in order to earn the role of WR2 or 3, he will need to have an excellent showing in the team’s pre-season games and continue to progress on the practice field. If Fulgham is able to string together a few strong performances he may just find himself in a position to build upon last year’s explosion and in turn, become the Eagles’ first receiver since the aforementioned Maclin to reach 1000-plus yards receiving and the X-factor the team has been searching for.

Next up for Fulgham, a Week 1 preseason exhibition with the same team he burst onto the scene against, the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 12th.