Mathews had his surgically repaired neck checked out, and doctors gave him a clean bill of health.
To update this item, reports later said the team has officially released Mathews.
Mathews turns 30 in October. He had 155 carries and 661 yards last season in 13 games but did have eight TDs in that span.
The Eagles' running back situation is like a giant puzzle. We know the pieces but we don't know how they'll all fit together just yet.
"They're open to everything," LeGarrette Blount said. "They're not going to just specifically put me in the role of short-yardage, goal line back. That's not what they brought me here for. They have an open mind. They're going to put me in other situations. I'm excited about every part of the game."
Blount, 30, is coming off a season that saw him carry the ball 299 times for 1,161 yards and an astounding 18 touchdowns. For comparison, the Eagles' top rusher in 2016 was Ryan Mathews, who carried the ball 155 times for 661 yards and eight scores. (Mathews is still technically on the roster but is expected to be cut once fully healed.)
After Blount, the Eagles still have Wendell Smallwood, Darren Sproles and Donnell Pumphrey. All four backs seem to have different skill sets and it'll be up to head coach Doug Pederson to figure out how the puzzle fits together.
Pederson was quoted in the story saying he wanted to get all the RB touches. That's something similar to what happened last year, which isn't an ideal fantasy situation. But, Blount should get a bulk of early down work at least, while Sproles and Pumphrey, who seem to be of the same mold, get third down work and passing situation downs. Smallwood seems to be more of a backup to Blount.
Mathews, a hard-charging runner with an extensive injury history, had landed on injured reserve the week of the season finale against Dallas. He’d suffered a neck injury Dec. 23 against the Giants that capped a frustrating, erratic season for the Eagles’ leading rusher.
But Mathews had a year remaining on his contract. Releasing him while injured would cost the team more than $1.1 million, the money coming directly off the Eagles’ meager cap space. So the decision was to wait for Mathews to pass a physical, at which point he could be released. He’ll still count $1 million in dead cap money this year, but the Eagles won’t be paying him, the only thing affected will the cap space. If and when he passes the physical.
Mathews is scheduled to make $4 million this season, and to count $5 million toward the cap, the story said. Given the signing of LeGarrette Blount and the drafting of Donnel Pumphrey, there is virtually no chance the team will keep Mathews around, when he is declared healthy, the story went on to say.
"He's good to go,'' Pederson, who also ruled out Barner with a hamstring injury, said. "(Barner) is going to miss the game. Being Thursday night, he's not going to make back.''
Friday, December 16, 2016, 6:08pm
Eagles RB Darren Sproles (concussion, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 15. Sproles will sit against the Ravens. It looks like Ryan Mathews may carry the load in a tough matchup, but Kenjon Barner is likely to see an increase in touches as well.
Thursday, December 15, 2016, 7:16pm
Eagles RB Darren Sproles (concussion) missed practice again Thursday. Sproles will likely sit against Ravens. It looks like Ryan Mathews may carry the load in a tough matchup, but Kenjon Barner is likely to see an increase in touches as well.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 7:07pm
Eagles RB Darren Sproles (concussion) did not practice Wednesday. Sproles will likely sit against Ravens. It looks like Ryan Mathews may carry the load in a tough matchup, but Kenjon Barner is likely to see an increase in touches as well.
Smallwood was placed on injured reserve Monday with a knee injury. Marshall, a former Oregon standout, spent the offseason and preseason with the Eagles and has been on practice squad all year.
Darren Sproles is in the league-mandated concussion protocol, leaving the Eagles even thinner at running back. Ryan Mathews and Kenjon Barner are the top only other running backs on the roster, so Marshall could play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens if Sproles has not recovered from the concussion.
Mathews figures to get the bulk of the work but the Eagles have used as many as four RBs in games this year. Marshall likely won't get enough work to warrant a start in just about any format.
Doug Pederson offered a lengthy update on the Eagles’ injury situation following Philadelphia’s Week 14 loss to the Washington Redskins. According to Pederson, four players suffered potential season-ending injuries on Sunday: long snapper Jon Dorenbos, rookie running back Wendell Smallwood (knee), reserve tackle Matt Tobin, and backup defensive back Jaylen Watkins. Pederson said all four players are candidates to be placed on the season-ending injured reserve list.
Smallwood suffered the injury in the second quarter and was downgraded to 'out' after halftime.
Friday, December 9, 2016, 6:41pm
Eagles RB Ryan Mathews (knee, questionable) took full practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 14. Mathews is getting over a sprained MCL. If he returns, and it look like he will, it will put a big dent in Wendell Smallwood’s upside. For what it’s worth, HC Doug Pederson said Thursday that Mathews is “ready to go.” The Eagles play early on Sunday.
Thursday, December 8, 2016, 6:27pm
Eagles RB Ryan Mathews (knee) took full practice reps again Thursday. Mathews is getting over a sprained MCL, but is good to go for Week 14, per HC Doug Pederson. If he returns, it will put a big dent in Wendell Smallwood’s upside, such that it is.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 6:58pm
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.
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