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Eagles rookie receiver Jalen Reagor says worrying about Justin Jefferson won’t help him make up ground

Reagor hasn't been as healthy as Jefferson, and his development has lagged.

Jalen Reagor, working to make up for reps lost to injury, says when it's his time, he will not disappoint.
Jalen Reagor, working to make up for reps lost to injury, says when it's his time, he will not disappoint.Read moreTIM TAI / Staff Photographer

Much like Brandon Graham a decade before him, Jalen Reagor didn’t force the Eagles to draft him in the first round.

Reagor was minding his own business at his grandmother’s house in Texas on April 23rd when general manager Howie Roseman called to tell the TCU wide receiver he’d been selected 21st overall. Most observers figured the Eagles would go for LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson. But they didn’t, and Jefferson went with the very next pick to Minnesota.

Nearly seven months later, Eagles fans have certainly noticed that Jefferson has played in all nine Vikings games, catching 42 passes on 54 targets for 762 yards and three touchdowns. He is averaging 18.1 yards per catch, and on Monday night, with the Eagles' loss to the Giants the day before still fresh in their minds, Eagles fans saw Jefferson catch eight passes on 10 targets for 135 yards in Minnesota’s victory over Nick Foles and the Bears.

This might be a problem, but it is not Jalen Reagor’s problem, Reagor said Tuesday.

“It’s not for me to watch another man’s success and be like, ‘Oh, I wish I was ... ’ I mean, it is what it is. He hasn’t had any injuries. I have," Reagor said. "I can’t watch another man’s journey. I just have to be ready to conquer mine when the time comes.”

Reagor suffered a shoulder injury in training camp, and a thumb injury Week 2 against the Ravens. Sunday’s loss was just his fourth game, and it was underwhelming. Reagor caught four passes on seven targets for 47 yards. He also watched a 71-yard, field-flipping punt sail over his head, something special teams coordinator Dave Fipp said should not have happened. Overall, Reagor has 12 catches on 21 targets for 159 yards and one touchdown. He was not open when Carson Wentz went to him on a crucial fourth-down play late in Sunday’s game.

“Just got to get more timing on it, more reps, and we’ll get it right,” Reagor said. Asked if the injuries have delayed his development, he said, “Absolutely. I mean, I wasn’t out there. I wasn’t able to get those reps with Carson.”

The Eagles drafted edge rusher Graham 13th overall in 2010 with fans expecting them to nab safety Earl Thomas to replace Brian Dawkins. Graham carried that weight for years, through a serious rookie-year knee injury, probably right up to the moment he reached out and knocked the ball out of Tom Brady’s hand on the Patriots' next-to-last possession of Super Bowl LII.

Thomas had a great career in Seattle, though lately his reputation has suffered because of problems with teammates that led to his release in Baltimore. Graham, over the long term, has been one of the steadiest, most reliable players and best leaders in Eagles history.

Whatever Jefferson does in the NFL, Reagor still is free to make his own name here.

“That’s life,” Reagor said of the Jefferson questions. “The longer y’all bring it up, I’m just going to keep giving y’all the same answers. ... What else do you want me to do? ... When your time is coming, it’s going to come, and when it’s meant to be, it’ll be.”

Eagles decide Jacquet fits

The Eagles signed rookie corner Michael Jacquet from the practice squad, with Craig James going on injured reserve. They filled Jacquet’s practice squad spot with rookie running back Adrian Killins, who was with the team earlier this season and ran once against the 49ers, for minus-12 yards.

Jacquet, 6-foot-1, 203 pounds, from Louisiana-Lafayette, has played in the last two games.