Eagles running back Ryan Mathews is expected to return to practice when the team reconvenes on Wednesday after missing the last two games against the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals with an MCL sprain.
Smallwood was expected to have a much bigger impact in the running game with Mathews out, but that didn't happen so we should assume Mathews gets a nice workload for a struggling Eagles offense in Week 14, assuming he's a go.
Friday, December 2, 2016, 6:13pm
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 6:10pm
Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 6:36pm
Packers at Eagles
Packers (Green Bay did not practice on Thursday or Saturday. The Thursday and Saturday practice reports are estimations.)
LB Kyler Fackrell (hamstring), CB Demetri Goodson (knee), G T.J. Lang (foot), LB Blake Martinez (knee), C J.C. Tretter (knee)
T Don Barclay (shoulder), CB Damarious Randall (groin), LB Jake Ryan (ankle)
RB Ryan Mathews (knee), T Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee)
This story broke earlier on Saturday that Mathews wouldn't suit up for Monday night. Darren Sproles is battling a rib injury but will play. Wendell Smallwood could very well end up with a bulk of the carries with Sproles and Kenjon Barner chipping in, especially in the passing game or as change of pace backs.
Running back Ryan Mathews and right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai have been ruled out. Both have MCL sprains.
The good news for the Eagles comes from the fact that all other injured players will be able to go (according to Pederson), including running back Darren Sproles, who suffered a rib injury against the Seahawks, the story said. Smallwood seems like he could be in store for a majority of the carries. Kenjon Barner likely factors in as well.
Friday, November 25, 2016, 6:43pm
Eagles RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed practice again Friday. Mathews has not practiced this week, but the Eagles play on Monday night, so we’ll see what he’s able to do on Saturday. Beat writer Les Bowen said that Mathews is expected to play, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the case. Wendell Smallwood would have a larger role if Mathews has to sit, but it looks like Darren Sproles will play.
Friday, November 25, 2016, 6:43pm
Eagles RB Darren Sproles (rib) took full practice reps again Friday. Sproles looks like he’s in for Monday Night Football. With Ryan Mathews’ status up in the air, we could be looking at a Wendell Smallwood/Darren Sproles backfield this week. Smallwood figures to lead the team in carries, but the Eagles were featuring Sproles in the running game as recently as Week 9.
The Eagles enter the week of preparation for Green Bay a little light at running back.
Both Ryan Mathews (knee) and Darren Sproles (rib fracture) left Sunday's game early and did not return. Head coach Doug Pederson said Mathews is day to day and Sproles won't practice early in the week but is expected to be back for the game on Monday against the Packers.
Based on Sunday, it seems like if Mathews isn't ready to play, Smallwood would become the Eagles' workhorse running back.
The story speculates Mathews won't be ready. We've already seen Sproles take 10-15 carries this year while Mathews was dealing with a tooth issue but Sproles now has a rib problem. Smallwood will likely be a big pickup this week and should get enough touches to warrant a start as long as Mathews is out. He'll still come with risks with Sproles and Barner in the mix for touches. Keep in mind this game is Monday night.
Coach Doug Pederson told reporters Monday that Sproles has a rib fracture, but he sounded optimistic that the 33-year-old would be able to suit up Monday night against the Green Bay Packers. Mathews will also try to get back after sustaining an MCL sprain in his right knee. After the game, he was spotted wearing a brace around that leg.
Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner are next up on the depth chart. Smallwood would likely see a much bigger role, especially if Mathews can't play in Week 12. This is a Monday night game so it's going to be risky waiting to play any Eagle RB unless we get a better idea of statuses before that. But as Washington's Rob Kelley proved Sunday night, this is potentially a nice matchup for the run-first Eagles.
Eagles RB Darren Sproles injured his ribs on a punt return late in the second quarter and did not come back out of the locker room after halftime.
As we stated in the news piece about Mathews, the injury to both players could mean Smallwood and Barner get a big workload in Week 12 against the Packers. Mathews' injury is a MCL sprain and he seems likely to miss some time. Smallwood had a big game back in Week 3 against the Steelers and would likely get more of a workload without Mathews and Sproles in the lineup.
While aware that the demands of a football season will be plentiful, Doug Pederson confronted a fresh one two weeks ago in Dallas. That’s when Ryan Mathews could barely squeeze into a particularly useful piece of equipment.
“He couldn’t put his helmet on,” Pederson said Sunday. “Then he had root canal the next day. So we kept with Darren Sproles for a couple of weeks. But Ryan was still a part of the bigger picture.”
For the combination of his size and the position in his career, Mathews figured to be the Birds’ most reliable running back option. With DeMarco Murray gone, Wendell Smallwood a rookie and the 5-6 Sproles an unorthodox threat, the 29-year-old Mathews, a former Pro Bowl back, was viewed as critical.
Mathews reported the toothache before the Birds lost in Dallas, where managed just four carries. And last week, he ran just five times in a loss to the Giants at the Meadowlands. During those two weeks, Sproles got the bulk of the work. Now recovered from the surgery and relieved of the pain, Mathews rushed 19 times Sunday in the Eagles’ 24-15 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The Eagles running game has been a big headache for fantasy owners and at times has been a four-headed monster. Now one has to wonder with Mathews' tooth problems behind him, does he go back to being the primary ball carrier. Sproles becomes a risky play at least in standard leagues if he's not going to get 12-15 carries a game.
“By stats and by what you're seeing, I would say that Darren is the No. 1 back right now,” Pederson said. “Ryan is still a big part [of the offense]; you saw the touchdown run that he had yesterday. Kenjon [Barner] had a nice run. Wendell [Smallwood] had a nice run. So it’s still a little bit of the running back by committee. Obviously, we haven't hung our hat on one guy, but we tend to lean more towards Darren Sproles. It's hard to take him off the field right now.”
It's not really breaking news, and we pointed out what was pretty apparent even last week, but it's now officially official. Of course the concern with Sproles is his age and durability, but it looks like at least for now he'll get a majority of the carries. Mathews is probably the next best option to own and will likely see some red zone work as he's the closest thing to a power back on the roster, but is also a fantasy risk. Barner did score a TD last week.
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 6:12pm
Eagles RB Ryan Mathews (tooth) took full practice reps Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Mathews was out-touched 20-to-5 by Darren Sproles, who appears to be the team’s primary running back at this point in the season.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 6:39pm
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