Eagles rookie receiver DeVonta Smith makes season debut against Patriots on Thursday


Philadelphia Eagles first round choice DeVonta Smith shall make his debut on Thursday preseason game vs. the New England Patriots Smith, who was listed daily with a knee injury, was limited in the team’s joint training sessions with New England this week but fitted in pads — a positive sign that Eagles would play the first round preseason.

Smith returned to 11-on-11 drills during the joint drills, mostly used as bait, though he was still there. Smith said earlier in the week that his knee felt good and that he was “taking it day by day” to get back to 100% health from the sprained MCL he sustained a few weeks ago.
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Smith will make his debut for the Eagles in the second preseason game, a week earlier than expected.

“I always think it’s necessary for guys to play in the preseason and go through that,” said Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni earlier this week. “We are still evaluating. We have a preliminary plan of how we want to be on Thursday, but we did a lot of good work yesterday (Monday) and we will have a lot of good work today, so that will change constantly with each player.”

Smith is immediately the #1 option wide receiver in the Eagles offense, and already has chemistry with quarterback Jalen hurts from their days at the University of Alabama. With Smith in the fold, Jalen Reagor slides to the number 2 spot and Quez Watkins is the favorite for the No. 3 lane. Watkins was a standout in the camp, while Reagor had a strong end to the camp — includes two highlight reel catches that attracted attention throughout the competition.

Smith may only see a few shots, but his return is huge for the Eagles offense – especially for his development with the season opener less than four weeks away.

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