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Bloom to make NFL preseason debut Thursday night

Bloom to make NFL preseason debut Thursday night{mosimage}Jeremy Bloom will play his first down of football since 2003 Thursday night with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens.

The game begins at 6 p.m. MDT. It will not be broadcast nationally.

Bloom, the 2005 overall World Cup moguls champion and a two-time Olympian, was drafted by the Eagles in the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft despite not having played collegiately since the 2003 season at the University of Colorado. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Bloom starred as a punt and kick returner at Colorado thanks in part to blazing speed. He reportedly ran a 4.40 40-yard dash before the draft. That speed helped prompt the Eagles to draft Bloom for his potential as a punt and kick returner.

A hamstring injury has kept Bloom off the practice field at training camp and on the sidelines for the Eagles’ first two preseason games. The team has eight players, including Bloom, battling for six spots at wide receiver and in the return game.

Bloom split time between his moguls career and collegiate football until his well-publicized battle with the NCAA ended in the fall of 2004 with the NCAA declaring him ineligible for accepting sponsorship money for his skiing career. During his career at Colorado, Bloom caught 24 passes for 458 yards, including a 94-yard touchdown reception in 2002, the longest in CU history. He also returned two punts and one kickoff for touchdowns. Bloom had an up and down 2006 ski season, reaching one World Cup podium and finishing sixth at the Olympic Games in what was almost certainly the last moguls competition of his career. After the Olympics, Bloom said he would focus solely on his NFL career.

— Sam Flickinger

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