Some big-name running backs have been connected to the defending Super Bowl champions as trade possibilities after news broke of Jay Ajayi‘s season-ending ACL tear. But the Eagles may not view the position as a must-address spot.
The Eagles don’t see running back as one of their top needs as the trade deadline nears, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. Instead, Philadelphia views its tackle situation and the need for consistent cover men to emerge as bigger deficiencies than running back post-Ajayi.
The Eagles have done their due diligence about what it would take to acquire a big name, however. Breer reports Philly made calls to both Pittsburgh and Buffalo about the respective availability of Le’Veon Bell and LeSean McCoy.
Recalling the Eagles’ 11th-hour trade for Ajayi last year, it shouldn’t be ruled out the team will use some of the recent cap space (now up to $10.4MM) it created by reworking Fletcher Cox‘s deal on this position. But Breer does not consider it likely the Eagles trade for a running back.
Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood split time on Thursday night against the Giants, combining for 94 rushing yards and a touchdown. A UDFA out of Wisconsin, Clement’s missed time due to injury this season. But he came up in Super Bowl LII. Smallwood came into the season as the Eagles’ No. 4 back — behind Ajayi, Clement and the now-injured Darren Sproles — but is averaging 4.7 yards per carry in an extended look this season.
Philadelphia’s still waiting on Sidney Jones‘ development, per Breer, and does not have much in the way of reliability beyond Ronald Darby at cornerback. Even though Jason Peters has encountered a potentially constraining biceps injury, he and Lane Johnson represent one of the NFL’s top tackle pairs. But the team is seeing Johnson “underachieve” this season, and a torn biceps may not be the kind of malady Peters can simply play through.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.