By Teddy Brenner

The Eagles have healthy scratched fifth-round pick John Hightower (10 catches, 167 yards) for three straight weeks while first-rounder Jalen Reagor (30 catches, 381 yards) has missed five games this year due to a myriad of injuries.

It’s been a struggle to get guys up to speed.

“You’re trying to point the finger in different directions,” coach Doug Pederson said. “Obviously, Jalen is a talented guy and a lot of it will fall on us as coaches to prepare our players and get them ready. That growth process, you’re starting to see glimpses of it now, towards the end of the season with him that we were hoping for in Weeks 3 and 4 in the regular season but he had the injury and it set him back.”

Sixth-round pick Quez Watkins (six catches, 100 yards) has just started to turn the corner after coming back from a hamstring injury. Then there’s last year’s second-rounder J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (two catches, 45 yards) who hasn’t seen action since Week 8. He appears to be a flat-out bust.

“As a staff, as a head coach, I have to be demanding of my assistants, number one, and then we can be demanding and hold our players accountable,” Pederson said. “So that’s what I mean by it starts with me, and I think that’s what you’re seeing here with our players. They’re just having more time on task and it’s paid off for them.”

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