The last time Philadelphia Eagles fans heard from Ed Reynolds II, the temperature in Philadelphia was, well, only slightly warmer than it was Sunday afternoon. Reynolds had two interceptions in the Eagles' first preseason game, and... well, that had really been his story in 2015.
Reynolds spent all of last season and most of this one on the practice squad, but was called up prior to the Eagles' Thanksgiving blowout at the hands of the Detroit Lions. But since then, Reynolds has played a good amount at safety. And in crunch time against the Bills, Reynolds came up with what was arguably the play of the day - a game-sealing interception of Tyrod Taylor late in the fourth quarter.
Here he is ladies and gentlemen, the man of the hour, Edward Reynolds the third. pic.twitter.com/bl7LE5xiBf— Sam Hundley (@PJbleedsgreen) December 13, 2015
But the game didn't start out so hot for Reynolds. In the first quarter he was late to help Byron Maxwell on the Bills' first touchdown of the game, a 47-yard bomb from Taylor to Sammy Watkins. After that play, he told his teammates they wouldn't see that out of him again.
"As a defensive backfield, we pride ourselves on being able to go up and get the ball," Reynolds said after the game. "I felt like I should have made more plays earlier on, like the fade they score on early in the game. I told those guys after that play that that one was on me, and I'm going to make all the rest of them. The play came to me, and i went up and got the ball."
With Nolan Carroll II out for the season and with the Eagles seemingly preferring to have Chris Maragos stay on special teams, Reynolds will see a lot of playing time in the next few weeks. So far, results have been mixed. Against New England he played in the slot and missed three tackles and gave up three catches and a touchdown. And while he was on the hook for another score Sunday, Chip Kelly seemed happy with his performance.
"He [intercepted the ball], so he gets a check." Kelly joked after the game. "Then he made a real good decision ... we practice [going down after catching the interception] but sometimes you get excited and you start to try to run it back. We don't need him to run it back. We can run the clock out. I thought he made a real smart decision just to get down right there, and when he gets dow we just put our offense on the field to line up and take a knee."
As for Reynolds, timely plays like this will not only help his chances of staying on the team, but will help the Eagles' chances of making the playoffs. As with all young players, the key is moving on quickly. After all, next week they've got an 11-win team coming to their house in primetime.
"We're taking every week as 1-0 and trying to make it to the next week. This is the final stretch and the last quarter of the season, so it's good for us to keep this momentum going. We'll celebrate this win and then come Tuesday, we'll get ready for Arizona."