Good morning, Eagles fans! The season opener is just a couple of days away. Later today, the team will hold its final practice in preparation for the Atlanta Falcons. Many figures across the franchise will make their NFL debuts in Week 1, including first-year coach Nick Sirianni and rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith
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Who are the kick returners?
The Eagles officially have second-year receiver Jalen Reagor and rookie running back Kenneth Gainwell listed as their starting punt and kickoff returner, respectively. But will both players be trotted out on game day?
Behind Reagor, Smith and Greg Ward are listed as punt returners, while running back Boston Scott and wide receiver Quez Watkins are listed as the backup kickoff returners.
“We’ve had a plethora of guys be the returners and take a whole bunch of reps,” special teams coordinator Michael Clay said. “And they’ve all showed in practice situations, in game situations, that they’re ready to go, regardless of where we put them in. Whether that’s a returner or somewhere else.
“Both Jalen and Kenny have done a great job so far.”
Pressed further on if Smith and Gainwell will start as returners in Week 1, Clay flashed a smile while remaining secretive.
“In terms of who’s going to be out there on the first punt return or kick return, I think we’re going to let that be a guessing game until Sunday about 1:05 p.m.,” he said.
What you need to know about the Eagles
EJ Smith discusses defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s first tough assignment in Falcons wideout Calvin Ridley and tight end Kyle Pitts.