Philadelphia Eagles: Jay Ajayi is bringing back the lead back

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

After months of speculation, assistant head coach Duce Staley has confirmed that Jay Ajayi will be the Philadelphia Eagles lead back in 2018.

Though he’s only appeared in 10 games as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017, Jay Ajayi has a lot to prove moving forward.

Less than a season removed from one of the best sophomore campaigns of any running back in recent memory, where he ran the ball 260 times for 1,272 yards and eight touchdowns in route to an appearance in his first Pro Bowl, Ajayi was unceremoniously shipped out of Miami because of ‘locker room chemistry’ to join a scrappy young Eagles squad looking for that one final piece to set their roster over the edge and make a run at the Super Bowl.

In hindsight, I’d say he did just that.

But unfortunately for Ajayi, his new situation was less than ideal for the rising star.

Cemented as the number two option behind established starter LeGarrette Blount, Ajayi never received more than 15 carries in a game over his seven regular-season appearances with the Eagles, expressing his disapproval following the team’s Week 12 victory over the Chicago Bears, in a game that will hopefully go down as his worst in midnight green.

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Though this outburst did lead to some mild controversy, with the word clown being casually thrown around, it did present some truth, as Ajayi consistently received more and more touches with each game, averaging four more touches a game in the playoffs than the regular season.

And after failing to draft a running back in the 2018 NFL Draft, expect even more memorable runs from the J-Train in 2018.

In a conversation with reporters, assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley confirmed that Ajayi will fill the team’s lead role in 2018, with players like Darren Sproles, Corey Clement, and whoever win’s the team’s fourth spot taking a more complementary role.

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While this move was fairly predictable, as Ajayi is arguably the best prototypical running back on the roster, it’s still nice to know that the team’s willing to commit to giving number 26 a more expansive role moving forward. Though only time will tell if this will be the season Ajayi finally returns to the Pro Bowl after a one-year absence in 2017, it looks like the Eagle’s rushing attack will continue to shine as they prepare to defender their crown in 2018.