Friday, July 21, 2006

Injuries Could Open Door For Eagles Receivers

BETHLEHEM, PA -- The Eagles have 13 wide receivers in camp and it's one position that is expected to have heated competition.
Reggie Brown is expected to be the No. 1 receiver and Jabar Gaffney, has looked strong in workouts, but remember, the hitting hasn't started.
Greg Lewis has a lot to prove after a subpar 2005 season. Todd Pinkston missed last season with a ruptured Achilles tendon and while he is back running routes, nobody knows how a player will do coming off such a difficult injury.
Darnerien McCants might make the team based on his special teams performance, but it's not a lock.
In addition, fourth round pick Jason Avant and fifth rounder Jeremy Bloom, were considered good bets to make the team, with Bloom serving as a punt returner.
Injuries to both could now bring opportunity to others. Avant had arthroscopic surgery on June 20 and Bloom is suffering from a hamstring injury. There is no timetable for their return, but that means other players will be getting more reps in practice.
Rookie Hank Basket (6-4, 220) has shown that he is a physical receiver. The key is whether he will run by defensive backs. Other sin the mix are Carl Ford, Bill Sampy, Mike Gasperson, Justin Jenkins and J.J. Outlaw.
None are household names, but the key in preseason is getting noticed and with two fewer Eagles running pass patterns, the others could step up.
Many of those players are still long-shots to make the team, but at the least, the current injuries should give them an extended look.

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