Jalen Reagor has high expectations heading into his second NFL season. The Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver is already behind the eight ball at the start of camp, failing his conditioning test conducted prior to the start of the first practice.
There was a reason the 22-year-old Reagor failed the test. Reagor has been dealing with a recent murder of a friend (as Inquirer.com beat writer Jeff McLane reported), which the Eagles believe affected his readiness for the start of camp.
"We obviously want all our guys out there every single day. Jalen had to go through some things that I can't even imagine going through that he had to deal with, so I know that mentally, he has to get himself in a spot," Eagles coach Nick Sirianni told reporters prior to the start of Saturday's training camp practice. "So, I'm not concerned."
Reagor was a surprise listing on the injury report the first day of practice. The Eagles labeled it as "lower body tightness," which they have been easing him back into the practice routine.
"He's been getting himself back ready to go these last couple days," Sirianni said. "He's got some tightness in his body, that's why we're holding him back. Again, any time – we just believe that in practice so much, that that's where you improve as a player.
"So, any time a player misses, of course we're not going to want that but no concern because he's on track to be ready."
The Eagles have their first full-padded practice Tuesday, the first test for Reagor to showcase what he can do in a new offense. Philadelphia is relying on Reagor to emerge as the No. 2 option at wide receiver, hoping he can become a viable counterpart to DeVonta Smith and excel in the slot.
There's a lot of pressure on Reagor to salvage a wide receiver group that hasn't had a good first week of practice (outside of Smith), showing signs the unit hasn't significantly improved from last season. The first order of business is to get Reagor's mind right -- helping him out as he's going through a tough time in his life.
"Just being there for him," Sirianni said. "If we are going to say the very first core value is connecting and then aren't there for players in a time of need, then we're full of it. And so it's just being there for him, and you know, having the people in place in the building to help him deal with anything that he's going through. So you have professionals that do that, right, that can talk to him if need be and then you just have coaches that care for him that are there to talk to him, too.
"I think you see, too, the players, you see that this is a tight-knit group of players, as well. So there's a lot of guys for him to be able to talk to, again, professionals, coaches and his teammates."