It may sound crazy, but one of the Eagles’ biggest camp battles this pre-season is for the 4th running back slot. With guys like Wendall Smallwood, Matt Jones, Donnel Pumphrey, and Josh Adams battling it out, many people believe its a toss up two weeks into the pre-season. And considering Josh Adams has a grand total of five carries so far, you would think that he has an uphill battle to win the spot but it is looking more and more like he is the only option.
College football’s all-time rusher, Donnel Pumphrey was drafted last year in the fourth round by the Eagles and has been a let down ever since. After sitting out last season, Pumphrey has yet to see pre-season action so far even though he is reportedly healthy. With Sproles back for one more season, it’s hard to see the Eagles using a roster spot on Pumphrey.
Battling for his NFL career, no one was really sure what to expect of Matt Jones before last weeks pre-season game against the Patriots. Would he show promise and put up a fight for the last spot? Or would he return to his inefficient self and get beaten by the younger, more promising runningbacks? With three dropped passes and averaging an abysmal 3.2 yards per carry, Matt Jones did not come even close to closing in on the last running back slot.
Averaging a whopping 2.2 yards per carry, Wendall Smallwood has continued his underwhelming NFL career into this pre-season. He closed last week out with four carries for one yard against the Patriots and is falling behind even the likes of Matt Jones. Smallwood is going to have to break off a couple of good runs in the next two weeks if he wants to be considered for the 53-man roster.
This brings us to Josh Adams. While only having a grand total of five carries this pre-season, Adams is only behind Jay Ajayi for rushing yards on the team. He brings a hard running, north-south style of play to the Eagles and has the ability to break off huge chunks of yards that the competition lacks. As long as Adams is able to stay healthy, he is the obvious favorite to make the team over guys like Smallwood, Pumphrey and Matt Jones.