Philadelphia Eagles may have 1,000-yard rushers in Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

If the Philadelphia Eagles continue to rely heavily on the ground game, Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement could provide the offense with two 1,000-yard rushers in 2018.

As training camp is about to start for the Philadelphia Eagles with Doug Pederson and company having their eyes set on trying to repeat as Super Bowl champions, the team is expected to see one of the most interesting position battles at running back.

Without question, one of the main reasons why the Eagles were able to have so much success during their epic Super Bowl run was due to having a strong running game led by a trio of running backs consisting of LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajayi, and Corey Clement.

While Blount started off the year as a key contributor after joining the team as a free agent, the impacts made by Ajayi and Clement ended up being quite the unexpected surprises. Not only was the trade to acquire Ajayi a huge steal from the Miami Dolphins when seeing what the Eagles had to give up, but also the team struck gold in the summer by signing Clement as an undrafted free agent.

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Having a trio of running backs like these three can be difficult for some teams since there’s always the risk of players being unhappy over their lack of touches, but that was far from the case in Philadelphia. One of the main reasons why the Eagles’ offense was so successful last season was due to players like these three being unselfish, and realizing just how dangerous the ground game could be if they were all willing to split up the workload.

In fact, the argument can even be made that Pederson took a page out of New England’s playbook by going with the hot hand at running back each week, meaning either one of these three players could end up with the most carries.

This time around, the Eagles will enter training camp without Blount (signed with the Detroit Lions) in the picture, but the backfield is still expected to be dangerous with the presence of Ajayi and Clement. Not to mention, a healthy Darren Sproles could result in the offense being just as dangerous as last season when it comes to taking advantage of a strong ground game.

Nothing against Sproles, but it’s safe to say Philadelphia will be using Ajayi and Clement as much as possible at running back throughout the 2018 season, which is why this is considered one of the most popular position battles to monitor. At the moment, Ajayi seems to be the early favorite to win the job as the No. 1 running back, but Clement shouldn’t be ruled out now that he has a year of NFL experience under his belt.

No matter what, chances are Philadelphia will most likely end up with one of these two players reaching the 1,000-yard mark in 2018, but both Ajayi and Clement pulling off the accomplishment doesn’t sound so crazy either.

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Blount (173 carries in 2017) no longer being in the picture means both Ajayi and Clement will each receive a heavier workload. And if Pederson continues to take the approach of riding the hot hand at running back to give Philadelphia a better chance of repeating as champions, breaking the 1,000-yard rushing mark doesn’t sound so crazy for Ajayi and Clement after all.