In Sunday’s 33-18 win, Jalen Reagor let a kickoff bounce inside the 5-yard line and it ended up giving the Eagles’ possession at their own 6-yard line.
In a season of disappointment for Reagor, this was just the latest chapter.
So it wasn’t much of a surprise a little while later when the Eagles put Boston Scott back there to return the next kickoff.
But that’s not a permanent move.
On Tuesday, Eagles’ special teams coordinator called this latest blunder a “mental lapse” but wasn’t ready to say Reagor has lost that responsibility.
“Probably not, I wouldn't say permanent,” Clay said to reporters. “We're obviously all being evaluated, myself included. We're going to go through the evaluation of everything, but Jalen, even the first one, he got to the 31 yard line, he brings some explosiveness. Everything's kind of magnified on the returner in those situations, especially kickoff and punt return because, obviously, he's the one catching the ball.
“But there are other factors. There are the other ten guys right there. So, I wouldn't say anything like that. We're obviously going to try to put our team in the best situation possible. We've got enough time to go through it and talk about it, but I wouldn't say any of that.”
This season, Reagor hasn’t been very productive on offense. And despite the natural explosion the Eagles always talk about, he hasn’t been a very productive returner either.
Reagor’s kick return average of 21.3 yards per attempt ranks 18th in the NFL among players with at least 10 returns. And his punt return average of 6.4 yards per attempt ranks 21st in the NFL among players with at least 10 returns.
So it’s been a tough season all-around for the 2020 first-round pick.
But Nick Sirianni has been committed to his approach of playing Reagor and not banging him. In fact, Reagor had a big role on offense against the Jets in 12 and 13 personnel, to the point where he out-snapped DeVonta Smith.
It has been an especially tough last few weeks for Reagor, but Clay insists he hasn’t noticed anything different about the young receiver.
“In terms of just speaking through special teams, I don't see it,” Clay said. “He comes in every week ready to go. He was involved in the game plan in terms of what he likes and what we try to give him and everything. So, I don't think anything, in terms of off the field or previous weeks, really creep in. He comes in, works hard every day, tries to do right with everyone.”
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