DeVonta Smith is reportedly ready to make his NFL debut. The Eagles rookie was kept out of Philadelphia’s preseason opener last week with a knee sprain but is expected to see the field Thursday night.
Smith “will get some plays” against the Patriots in Week 2 of the preseason, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark reports
Smith was sidelined for 2 1/2 weeks because of the injury. He returned to practice earlier this week and participated in team drills.
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Eagles coach Nick Sirianni has been hopeful that Smith would see some action before the regular season.
“I always think it’s necessary for guys to play in preseason and go through that,” Sirianni said earlier in the week.
Now, it appears Smith will finally do that and get his feet wet against NFL competition.
Smith was the 10th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Eagles traded up from No. 12 with the archrival Cowboys to secure his services, and it’s easy to see why. Smith caught 117 passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns during his final collegiate season at Alabama. He became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991.
While there were questions about Smith’s frame — he weighs just 175 pounds, which is light for a receiver — the Eagles think he can be a top receiving weapon.
“Obviously, DeVonta is a big-time player for us,” general manager Howie Roseman said on Philadelphia radio station WIP after the draft, “so we were going to get this guy and make sure he got on our football team. We’ve got an offensive coach here. We think this guy is a difference-maker.”
Smith will have his first chance to prove he can be one Thursday when he faces the Patriots.