Smallwood made it, despite a hamstring injury that dogged him through training camp and the preseason. Tuesday, reporters were asking Smallwood if he thinks he can fill in for Darren Sproles the rest of the year.
“There’s no doubt Wendell’s going to have an increased role,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said Tuesday. “He’s the guy – I think all the [backs] have some third-down ability, but I think Wendell has really improved in that area. He showed a natural aptitude for it early, both from a protection standpoint and from a route-running standpoint. I’m not sure you can ever replace ‘43’ in that regard; he’s just a unique player. But I feel good about Wendell, and him stepping up.”
The hype around Smallwood started at the same time the rumors of Blount not making the team came about. Those who follow the team feel he has improved in the pass-catching area so he's the logical choice for replacing Sproles in passing downs. Keep in mind, the Eagles haven't been a sure-thing when it comes to consistently running the ball, but Smallwood's potential role in the passing game should give him value going forward.