PHILADELPHIA – Eagles fans showered Jalen Reagor with boos, but that didn’t deter Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell from getting the receiver involved against his old team during Monday night’s 24-7 loss.
Reagor, the former first-round pick who was traded from the Eagles on Aug. 31, motioned to the crowd for more animosity before he was quickly taken down on a 1-yard punt return. He got a laugh, too, on offense. Later in the second quarter, Reagor took a handoff on a jet sweep for 17 yards to move the chains.
Each time he touched the ball, Reagor heard from Eagles fans. He played 28 games across two seasons for Philadelphia, and said it wasn’t difficult to play through the noise.
“Nah, it wasn’t hard,” Reagor said. “I’m used to it.”
Reagor, who had a 7-yard catch in the fourth quarter, also ran a route from the backfield on third down, giving the offense a fourth option at receiver after the Vikings played just three receivers against Green Bay.
“Just getting going, getting into a rhythm,” Reagor said. “Coach K.O. put me in and I’m just doing what I can.”
Receiver Adam Thielen was an afterthought, waiting until the third quarter for his first target that was intercepted by Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox. Thielen’s first catch came in the fourth quarter.
“I can think back to a couple plays we were trying to get going for him early,” O’Connell said. “But we ended up checking to a couple different things based upon whatever it was.”
Cine makes NFL debut
Safety Lewis Cine trotted onto the field for the first play — a kickoff — to mark the first-round pick’s NFL debut. Cine, the 32nd overall selection, played on all four special teams groups from kickoff return to punt coverage. He did not play on defense after losing the training camp battle to second-year safety Camryn Bynum.
Cornerback Andrew Booth Jr.the second-round pick, did not play due to a quad injury suffered against the Packers. The Vikings elevated cornerback Duke Shelley from the practice squad.
Joining Booth as inactive were five healthy scratches in running back Ty Chandlerdefensive lineman Esezi Otomewoguard/center Chris Reedtackle Vederian Lowe and edge rusher Luiji Vilain.
Smith comes off bench
Tight end Johnny Mundt again started for the Vikings, but Irv Smith Jr. was a featured target in the first half. Smith got his first touchdown in nearly two years, blocking quickly before releasing into the flat at the goal line for a 2-yard score — his first since Dec. 25, 2020.
Smith saw eight targets, but it was the fifth that will stick with him. Smith aligned wide and ran behind the Eagles secondary, where Cousins threw a strike directly into his hands that was dropped. The Vikings punted two plays later. Smith’s role was reduced in the second half, when Mundt mostly played. He had five catches for 36 yards and a touchdown.
Peterson blocks FG
Patrick Peterson’s leaping block of a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter was returned 27 yards by fellow cornerback Kris Boyd. It was the Vikings’ first blocked field goal since defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson last Dec. 20. Peterson said he had been trying to time the snap count since jumping early for a false start on an extra point.
“They got me early,” Peterson said. “But I started to get indications on when the ball was going to be hiked. Got a great jump and Josh Metellus did a great job of grabbing the arm of the left [blocker].”
Safety Harrison Smith suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter. The former All-Pro selection, will have to test out of the league’s concussion protocol in a quicker turnaround to be available for next Sunday’s game against the Lions.
“It is a short week, so we’ll just have to see where he’s at,” O’Connell said. “He was all over the field.”
• Cornerback Cameron Dantzler had an eventful second-quarter drive with two impressive open-field tackles to force a third-and-12 play by the Eagles, and an illegal contact gaffe that erased his plays and gave Philadelphia a first down. Rookie Akayleb Evans replaced him in the second half.
• Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts’ 53-yard touchdown pass to receiver Quez Watkinshis 10th consecutive completion that traveled 56.4 yards through the air, was the longest of his career, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
• Local Philadelphia sports stars James Harden of the 76ers and Bryce Harper of the Phillies were at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday night, garnering applause when appearing on the video boards.