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August 02, 2021

Eagles rookie WR DeVonta Smith out with sprained knee

UPDATE [11:10 a.m.] — According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith will miss the next two to three weeks with a sprained knee, meaning he could miss two and possibly all three preseason games for the Eagles, which isn't ideal for a rookie.


According to every beat writer down at the NovaCare Complex for Eagles training camp, including our own Jimmy Kempski, Eagles rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith suffered a sprained knee and is considered week to week.

Reports suggest that the team expects him to be back "sooner rather than later" and that they aren't "overly concerned" with the injury, but any time your No. 1 receiver — especially when he's a rookie and especially when there's a new starting quarterback and even more especially when it's a new coach with a new system — is going to miss some and potentially all of training camp, there should always be some concern, even if it's not over the player's actual health and ability to return to the field. 

Beyond that, the Eagles are already razor thin at wide receiver and have already been bit by the injury bug. In addition to Jalen Reagor reportedly failing his conditioning test (he's since returned), Quez Watkins has missed time and Greg Ward got off to a late start due to an illness.

None of those injuries are anywhere near as worrisome as the one suffered by the 10th overall pick in this year's draft, in part because of its seriousness but also because of the critical role Smith is expected to play on offense, and how his previous relationship with Jalen Hurts could have helped make the transition to fulltime starter a bit easier.

For now, the Eagles will have to work without Smith, and hope that the lost practice time doesn't cause him to get off to a slow start once the season arrives. A year after the Eagles' first-round pick, Reagor, struggled to live up to expectations — while others drafted after him turned heads week in and week out — there's a lot of pressure on Smith to prove the Eagles right for drafting a wideout again in the first round. 

And Monday's news certainly isn't helping... 

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