How should Eagles divvy up running back carries rest of season?

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

So far this season, no running back has separated himself from the rest of the pack for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Offensively, the Philadelphia Eagles have done almost everything to near perfection during the 2017 season. Carson Wentz is airing the ball out whenever he wants, and the running game lets him pick and choose when to do so. Over the last few years, Philadelphia hasn’t had the strongest running back group, but this isn’t your ordinary Eagles team in 2017. Now, there are three running backs that can come in at any time, and have a massive effect on the outcome of the game, it’s refreshing to say the least. However, the Eagles still don’t have a player of LeSean McCoy‘s caliber, play makers are abundant at the position.

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LeGarrette Blount was brought in as a free agent stopgap on a one-year deal, and while he hasn’t recaptured the magic he had with the New England Patriots, he has been a reliable runner between the tackles. While Blount came into the year with high expectations, the opposite can be said for rookie Corey Clement. Going into the season, nothing was thought of the decision to keep Clement on the active roster, but he has stepped up immensely, especially with the injury to Darren Sproles. Now leading the team in touchdowns (seven), Clement looks the part of a vital piece of the future offense.

The player no one thought would be on the team right now may be the most important, that being Jay Ajayi. Giving up virtually nothing in the trade with the Miami Dolphins to acquire Ajayi, he has shown big play ability that was hidden behind the struggles of Adam Gase‘s offense. With one year left on his rookie contract, Ajayi should become the main running back by next season, especially since there is a reason why he was a Pro Bowl selection last year.

The great thing about how the offense is running right now is that there doesn’t need to be one main running back. Each of the three mentioned does something well, and the Eagles have found a way to use each of them in various scenarios. Yes, all three deserve their fair share of snaps because of the amount of production so far this season, but as the playoffs approach, Ajayi needs to receive a larger share of carries. In just two games since the trade, he has shown the ability to do it all from running between tackles to pass protection.

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Ajayi’s only touchdown this year has come as a member of the Eagles, mainly because of the ability to change game pace based on what running back is in the game. Defenses have not been able to adjust to the high powered offense Philadelphia brings to the table so far, meaning both Blount and Clement need to still be involved, but maybe scale back their workloads as the season moves along.