Sunday, January 29, 2023

Devonta Smith, Jalen Hurts feel pain for Henry Rugs III

PHILADELPHIA (NWN) – Devonta Smith played her best all-around game with a heavy heart.

Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver caught five passes for 116 yards and a touchdown in a 27-24 loss For the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday after an emotional week.

Smith is a close friend of former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Rugs III, who was arrested for an accident that claimed the lives of a woman and her dog Tuesday night. Rugs was released by the Raiders hours later.

“My heart breaks for everyone involved, the family and the young woman who lost her life,” said Smith, who played with the Rugs in Alabama. “It was hard in the beginning, but being with people helped me.”

It was the second 100-yard game for Smith, who won the Heisman Trophy last season and was selected by Philadelphia with the 10th overall draft pick.

“It gave me a bigger purpose, playing for my brother, knowing he just can’t play,” Smith said.

Jalen Harts played with the Smiths and the Rugs before relocating to Oklahoma. He also had a rough week processing the tragedy.

“I love Devonta Smith like a brother. I love Henry Rugs like a brother,” Hurts said. “It’s hard for all of us to feel what happened this week, what a sad situation it was.”

Harts and Smith played their part but could not create a home win for Eagles (3–6) rookie coach Nick Siriani. He is 0-4 in Philly.

Hurts finished 11 of 17 for 162 yards and a TD and also ran for 62 yards.

“He was a big-time stud,” Siriani said of the quarterback in his second year. “He was made in a really tight position. That’s what you want from your quarterback. That’s what I’ve seen from good quarterbacks in my past.

“So, we definitely have to build on this. There’s no secret. Jalen has practiced well the last two weeks, played two good games in a row, so we just have to go back and have another week like we did last.” Did the week, aggressively, to put myself in a winning position next week.”

One of Hearts’ best throws was a 28-yard strike for Smith, who caught the ball on Chargers 7 and raced to the end zone to cross the goal line.

Smith said, ‘Whenever I have the ball in my hand, my intention is to score. “So, there I was and then I came in.”

Smith has bowled a few drops in the last three games and only caught eight passes combined.

“I can still grow,” he said. “I think there are things I could have done better. Just keep attacking, keep watching the movie and keep getting better at it. Just small mistakes, I’m not seeing the ball completely inside and not focused All week, I just focused on getting the ball going and seeing it all the way through.”

Smith said he reached Rugs, who was driving at 156 mph. With a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit in Nevada at the time of the accident.

“We discussed everything,” Smith said. “She’s in good spirits. I’m glad she’s herself, she’s got herself together, she just doesn’t depend on herself.”


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