Potential Running back additions who could help ease Eagles injury woes

It seems like it’s everyday that the Eagles are putting out news of yet another injured player. This time, it’s Corey Clement being sent to the IR for the second year in a row.

In a corresponding move, Boston Scott was called up from the practice squad to take his place. With Darren Sproles “week-to-week” with a quad injury, the Eagles suddenly have a very thin running back room.

Sure, Boston Scott has shown some flashes of a productive runner. In the 2018 preseason, he averaged 4.8 yards per carry on 25 attempts. But during this past preseason, he averaged 4.0 yards per carry on 10 attempts, bloated by a ‘seven carries for 43 yards’ day. The 6.1 yards per carry game came in the second preseason game, while he ended the preseason against the Jets with three carries for negative three yards.

Scott’s bread and butter is in the return game, where he figures to see most of his game action. But if he’s relied upon for the returning, will the Eagles really go with just Howard and Sanders in their backfield?

History tells us that the current Eagles coaching staff likes at least a three back share of carries.

This season (snap counts are on top of snap count percentage, and goes by week):
Miles Sanders 36
48%
35
43%
26
34%
22
35%
29
43%
Jordan Howard 17
23%
18
22%
25
33%
33
53%
29
43%
Darren Sproles 23
31%
28
35%
27
36%
7
11%
10
15%
2018:
Wendell Smallwood 1
1%
24
30%
29
35%
36
46%
29
49%
44
62%
35
52%
31
50%
21
34%
4
8%
1
2%
2
3%
4
8%
20
31%
16
20%
26
37%
Josh Adams 8
10%
1
2%
0
0%
8
12%
18
29%
19
31%
28
55%
40
62%
41
55%
21
40%
24
38%
25
30%
18
25%
Corey Clement 13
18%
33
42%
45
55%
26
37%
25
37%
13
21%
18
29%
14
27%
24
37%
23
31%
4
8%
Darren Sproles 29
40%
9
12%
22
42%
20
31%
38
46%
27
38%
Jay Ajayi 29
40%
22
28%
41
53%
29
49%
2017:
LeGarrette Blount 23
34%
6
8%
22
29%
26
33%
26
39%
30
48%
25
38%
35
50%
16
23%
30
47%
37
47%
14
19%
15
16%
17
25%
12
18%
19
32%
Corey Clement 0
0%
1
1%
7
9%
19
24%
23
34%
10
16%
12
18%
19
27%
28
41%
19
30%
15
19%
28
37%
27
30%
10
15%
27
40%
11
19%
Jay Ajayi 17
25%
13
20%
22
28%
31
41%
43
47%
35
51%
28
41%
Wendell Smallwood 15
22%
14
19%
43
57%
35
44%
24
37%
13
19%
6
9%
22
37%
Darren Sproles 33
49%
50
69%
5
7%
Kenjon Barner 0
0%
17
25%
22
35%
4
6%
4
6%
2
3%
2
3%
4
5%
2
3%
6
7%
6
9%
2
3%
7
12%
2016:
Darren Sproles 38
49%
41
57%
24
37%
34
56%
23
44%
26
45%
63
81%
60
80%
31
39%
10
13%
31
53%
44
55%
30
38%
27
48%
29
38%
Ryan Mathews 37
48%
21
29%
8
12%
25
41%
11
21%
26
45%
8
10%
8
11%
26
33%
14
18%
39
50%
36
41%
28
50%
Wendell Smallwood 2
3%
5
7%
24
37%
1
2%
10
19%
5
9%
1
1%
4
5%
19
24%
38
48%
22
37%
24
30%
9
12%
Kenjon Barner 6
8%
8
11%
12
18%
1
2%
8
15%
3
5%
6
8%
3
4%
3
4%
18
23%
6
10%
13
16%
12
14%
Byron Marshall 39
45%
1
2%
35
46%
Terrell Watson 12

So, unless Doug Pederson severely changes his game plan, expect the Eagles to add another running back or two.

But who’s out there? Here are some free agent and trade targets to keep an eye on.

Free agents:

C.J. Anderson: The former Broncos, Panthers, Rams, and Lions running back is currently a free agent after being released a few weeks ago by the Lions. Although his 2.7 YPC with the Lions leaves a lot to be desired, he does have a career 4.5 YPC and would do well in a committee like the Eagles’ system

Jeremy Hill: After a promising first two years in the NFL (11 rushing touchdowns in 2015), Jeremy Hill has seemingly fallen from grace in recent years. He went from playing 16, 16, and 15 games in his first three years with the Bengals to seven in 2017 and then one in 2018 with the Patriots.  Hill was placed on IR after that game and was not re-signed for this season.  He owns a 4.1 YPC average for his career.

Jay Ajayi: Eagles fans know him quite well. He was with the Birds for a year and a half and quickly made his mark on the team. After four games last season, Ajayi was lost to a torn ACL. Now fully recovered, his agent has let all 32 teams know that Ajayi is back to full strength and ready to go. He averaged 5.1 YPC with the Eagles, and he’d look really good back in the Eagles backfield.

Trade targets:

Jeff Wilson Jr.: I highlighted a move for Wilson here, but now a move makes a lot more sense. He has only played in two games for the 49ers this season, totally four touchdowns. His goal line expertise would do well with the Eagles.

Kenyan Drake: No stranger to trading with the Dolphins for a running back, maybe Howie tries to get another running back seemingly out of favor with Miami. His snap counts have been 53.1%, 54.8%, 65.7%, and 53.8% through the first four games, which does not scream “out of favor.” But Drake has had one carry inside the 20 yard line in those four games, which suggests the Dolphins do not trust him near the goal line.

Ty Montgomery: A clear handcuff to Le’Veon Bell, Montgomery may never have the chance to showcase what he can do on the field. Montgomery’s snap counts through four games have been 7%, 35%, 16%, and 14%.  Transitioning to running back from wide receiver while he was with the Packers, Montgomery showed that 3-9 carries a game would get you 4-6 yards each time  He’d be a fine addition with his 4.8 career YPC.

Anyone I miss, Eagles fans? Let me know!

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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