Road to 53: What to make of the Eagles running back situation
19 June 2018 Eagles News
In my previous article, the Eagles are keeping three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. Moving to running back, the Eagles have a lot of options and limited space. Let’s dive deep into the position and break it down.
The Eagles are a team that likes to use all their running backs. Last season they used six different running backs, Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, LeGarrette Blount, Kenjon Barner, Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles. With that being said, all of them weren’t active at the same time, but it shows the Eagles like to keep running backs available and value running backs who can contribute on special teams. Now, let’s get into their situation this season.
First and foremost, Eagles running back Jay Ajayi is going to be the lead man in this group going forward. Acquired mid season, we have only seen a small sample size of what Ajayi can really do. With a full offseason, expect Ajayi to really come in fresh and firing on all cylinders. He had 408 yards and one touchdown last season for the Eagles and he will certainly build off of that next season.
Obviously Blount isn’t back with the team with makes the next running back locked into the roster Corey Clement. The Eagles are high on Clement who really came up big for the Eagles last season, especially in the Super Bowl. He scored a combined six touchdowns and made the big play when called upon. He will most certainly have a bigger role next season.
Now, the other running backs left are Darren Sproles, Matt Jones, Josh Adams, Donnel Pumphrey and Wendell Smallwood. Out of those five, the Eagles will keep three. Sproles is highly praised by head coach Doug Pederson, which makes me think his spot is secured. For the last two spots Adams, Smallwood, Jones and Pumphrey. Adams brings the Blount factor to the Eagles run game, which might bold in his favor. The Eagles like to mix running backs in and out and with that aspect, he might be able to prove him worth to the team.
With that being said, the last spot is a battle between Jones, Smallwood and Pumphrey. Even though Pumphrey was not that impressive last season, the Eagles seem to have a role for him in the offense and return game. With a chip on his shoulder he’s going to be ready to prove himself. Smallwood seems to be an outcast on this team, and the fact Pumphrey is more versatile secures his spot.
Road to 53
QB (3) – Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld
RB (5) – Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles, Donnel Pumphrey, Josh Adams
AP Photo | Michael Ainsworth