Eagles rookie wide receiver tired of comparisons to Vikings breakout star Justin Jefferson
Jalen Reagor doesn't lack for confidence.
So the Eagles' wide receiver isn't concerned that his rookie season hasn't been a smooth ride by any stretch of the imagination.
And Reagor, justifiably, had little patience for a question comparing him to Vikings rookie receiver Justin Jefferson. After all, it wasn't his fault that the Eagles, picking at No. 21 in the first round in the spring, chose Reagor over Jefferson, who was taken with the very next pick.
Jefferson is leading all rookies in receiving yards with 762, and is second in receptions with 42. Jefferson had 8 catches for 135 yards in the Vikings' win over the Bears on Monday night.
So the comparisons continued, so much so that Reagor deleted his Twitter account this week.
Reagor has 12 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown. But he has played in just four games this season after having thumb surgery after the Week 2 game against the Rams on Sept. 20.
"That’s the only person people bring up," Reagor said. "It’s not for me to watch another man’s success and say, 'Oh, I wish I was ...' He hasn’t had any injuries. I have. I can’t watch another man’s journey. I just have to be ready to conquer mine when the time comes.
"Like I said, what’s life without scars?"
Reagor has had his share of scars this season, both with injuries and in some mistakes on the field.
There was the thumb surgery that cost Reagor five games, and a shoulder injury that cost him two weeks of practice leading up to the start of the season.
Throw in the missed spring practices because of the coronavirus pandemic and the delayed start to training camp, and Reagor hasn't had much time at all with quarterback Carson Wentz.
"I wasn’t able to get those practice reps with Carson, but like I said, it is what it is," Reagor said. "I wasn’t out there. That’s a part of growing and getting chemistry. Then it doesn’t make it any better that I’m a rookie, so (Wentz) has to build trust in me and what I’m doing to get comfortable.
"Look at him and (tight end Zach) Ertz. It’s chemistry. I haven’t been here. I got hurt, had two injuries ... I just have to keep climbing the mountain each and every day. I can’t make excuses."
Added Eagles coach Doug Pederson: "Listen, he’s missed a lot of football. So there hasn’t been a lot of production. Would I like to get him the ball more? Yeah, I would."
Reagor has had to learn through some mistakes on the field.
On the Eagles' first possession against the Giants, they tried a "rub route" on third-and-3 where a second receiver sets a pick on the cornerback to free up Reagor on a slant. Wentz double-pumped and threw incomplete.
"That’s not on Carson," Pederson said. "I put that more on us as coaches to coach that play better. And I put it on those two young receivers … That’s why you saw Carson double-clutch the ball because we failed to execute the pick part of it. And then Jalen went a little too deep on his route. Those are the things we have to get corrected."
The Eagles went to Reagor on a critical 4th-and-10 play from the Giants' 36 late in the fourth quarter with the Eagles trailing by a touchdown. Reagor was covered and the pass was incomplete.
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There was also a punt early in the game that Reagor didn't catch, letting the ball sail over his head. The punt ended up going 71 yards and the Eagles started their drive at the 6 yard line.
But the Eagles are enamored with Reagor's potential, and his confidence.
"His confidence is great," Wentz said. "I’ve seen that be consistent, whether he’s making a lot of plays and even when he was out for a couple weeks ... Just continuing to develop that and work with him about certain routes and just details of plays.
"That’s why I’m excited for the second half of the season for us to keep building that chemistry and keep showing it."
It's a different scenario from the comparisons between two second-round picks in the 2019 draft – the Eagles' choice of wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside at No. 57 and Seattle picking D.K. Metcalf seven picks later.
Arcega-Whiteside has 12 catches in 23 games and was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career against the Giants. He has just two receptions this season for 45 yards. Metcalf, meanwhile, is third in the NFL with 816 receiving yards. He also has 8 touchdown catches.
Reagor is not in that category with Arcega-Whiteside. So he'll keep trying to learn on the fly as the Eagles prepare for their game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
"I never had to develop (confidence) because that’s me," he said. "I never walk into a room feeling I’m better than anybody because I know who I am. Same way people bring up this rookie, that rookie. I hope those guys keep shining. I know most of them. I wish the best to them. I want them to keep balling.
"Confidence is me regardless of whether I have a 1,000-yard rookie season or a 500-yard rookie season. I control what I can control. I’m going to forever be confident."
Wentz denies report of 'sloppy practice habits'
Wentz denied a report by the NFL Network's Michael Silver that he has "sloppy practice habits."
"Are my practices perfect? No," Wentz said. "That’s why it’s practice ... I gotta be better all the time. I’m always out there working, and I know everyone else is. I haven’t seen (sloppy habits) from myself or anybody. We’re out there busting our tails every day."
This and that
Only LB Shaun Bradley (illness) and S Rudy Ford (hamstring) did not practice. DT Fletcher Cox and LT Jason Peters were both given rest days and were listed as limited.
Contact Martin Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @Mfrankfnl.