Philadelphia Eagles Returner Jorrick Calvin Placed on IR; Who Will Return Kicks for the Rest of the Season?

By Bryn Swartz

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Jorrick Calvin was placed on IR today with a back injury, officially ending his rookie season with two games remaining in the season.

He didn’t play in three games this season: the first two games, against Green Bay and Detroit, and the first Giants game.

Calvin was a sixth round draft pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2010. He was brought to Philly in exchange for fullback Charles Scott, who was selected one pick before Calvin in the draft.

Calvin became the starting kick returner after Ellis Hobbs was injured early in the season.

He temporarily lost the job but regained it when Hobbs was placed on IR with a neck injury.

Calvin made a few rookie mistakes this season.

He fumbled a punt against the Titans with three minutes losing and the Eagles down by eight, helping to contribute to the Eagles’ third loss of the year.

He fielded a kickoff in the end zone against the Cowboys and tried running out the clock by running sideways, not realizing that the clock doesn’t start moving until a player leaves the end zone. After the play, he shoved/punched cornerback Allen Ball, resulting in an unnecessary roughness penalty.

But Calvin also had some pretty impressive plays.

He had a punt return and a kick return over 40 yards this season. He also returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown, which was called back because of a penalty by rookie tight end Clay Harbor.

Calvin averaged 21.63 yards per kick return and 10.42 yards per punt return. He has a promising future, and I was looking forward to seeing what he could do in the postseason.

Now the Eagles don’t have a kick returner. Calvin and Hobbs returned 48 of the team’s 56 kicks this season and both are on IR.

Owen Schmitt returned two, but he’s clearly not going to be a kick returner.

Eldra Buckley returned one. He is my prediction to take Calvin’s place.

It could be Jeremy Maclin, who was a returner in college, but Maclin is too valuable as a receiver to risk an injury on special teams.

Then again, Jackson returns punts, so I really don’t know what to expect.

Buckley is my prediction though, and if he can average 20 yards without fumbling, I think the Eagles will be fine.

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