On a team where minor injuries turn into major injuries, where guys listed as day-to-day disappear for a month, where injuries often seem to get worse before they get better, Jalen Reagor is a welcome exception.
Around here, his story qualifies as a miracle.
“When I got hurt initially, they told me I’d be out four weeks,” Reagor said Tuesday. “And, you know, I looked at it as a challenge. ‘OK, four weeks, all right, we'll see.’ Great training staff, great doctors and my rehab went great and I was able to play Week 1.”
Reagor suffered a small tear in his left shoulder while attempting to tackle Avonte Maddox on an interception return during the Eagles’ scrimmage at the Linc on Aug. 30.
He returned to practice on a limited basis last Wednesday – just 10 days later – and was a full participant the next day.
And on Sunday he made his NFL debut in Washington, playing 40 of 68 snaps – the most of any Eagles receiver.
Asked whether a second opinion gave him hope he could be back faster than two weeks, the rookie 1st-round pick said no.
"It wasn't from a second opinion, it was from me personally, it's mental,” he said. “I woke up the next morning, I was able to move, do what I could do. And it was all about pain tolerance. Once I had my strength, it wasn't loose, it wasn't bothering me. It's about the soreness of it so they were just telling me it's about me. Just gotta be honest with them, make sure I protect myself. You know, the doctors were telling me we might keep you out Week 1 … but then I went out caught the ball, ran routes, they were like, ‘You know, you look like you are ready to play,’ and I told him when they told me four weeks I looked at it as a challenge. … And when the doctor looked at me he was like, ‘You check all the boxes.’”
Reagor caught a 55-yard pass from Carson Wentz in the first quarter Sunday to set up a field goal, the second-longest catch in Eagles history by a player in his first NFL game.
It was his only catch of the game, but it was still a promising debut considering the Eagles didn’t have a 55-yard catch by anybody all last year.
The 55 yards are 4th-most in franchise history by a player in his first game, behind teammate DeSean Jackson (106), Bryce Treggs in 2016 (69) and Bobby Walston in 1951 (56).
Reagor said he was never concerned about getting hurt again.
"It’s football, injuries happen,” he said. “That's the worst part of the game, so I can't be sitting here worried about the risk of re-injury. I’ve just got to go out there and give 100 percent of myself to the Philadelphia Eagles and that's what I'm going to do.
“I'm not worried about re-injuring it. If that was the case I wouldn't (have) even played Week 1. So I'm just gonna go out there and let it loose and whatever happens happens.”
This may be the only time this year you read about an injured Eagles player coming back faster than expected.
But maybe some of Reagor's good injury mojo will rub off on his teammates. The Eagles could sure use it.