Philadelphia Eagles: I am once again asking for Jason Huntley

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

Boston Scott was an uneven performer for the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12.

On one hand, he rushed for a touchdown, rushed for a second touchdown that was called back by a Nate Herbig holding penalty, and had a few clutch non-touchdown runs that kept the chains moving, but when the team needed him most with the game on the line, the Giant Killer killed the Eagles’ penultimate drive of the game by fumbling an otherwise uneventful run right into the hands of Giants safety Julian Love to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Now granted, Jalen Reagors‘ closed-eyes dropped touchdowns – plural – on the next drive have rightfully generated far more disdain from the fanbase but had Scott held onto that ball, we may have been talking about how well the Eagles played in Jalen Hurts‘ worst start as a pro, and how, at 6-6, a Wild Card berth is still very much in play.

Sidebar: At 5-7, a Wild Card Berth is still very much in play, assuming the Eagles don’t play like they did in Week 12 down the stretch.

So naturally, with a Week 13 bout against a not-so-good New York Jets squad a few days away, Scott has to be jazzed for a chance to redeem himself and prove he’s worthy of an extension, right? I’m sure he’d like to, but unfortunately, that looks unlikely, as Scott was a DNP at practice on both Wednesday and Tursday and will probably miss the team’s second straight contest at MetLife.

Hey Philadelphia Eagles, maybe this is the week to finally call up Jason Huntley and give him some run.

Jason Huntley is a perfect Week 13 third rusher for the Philadelphia Eagles.

In, say, Week 3, having two running backs on their active roster would be no biggie because the Philadelphia Eagles simply didn’t use more than two running backs.

Seriously, looks back at the stats; in the month of September, the Eagles never had more than three players advance the ball on running plays – Kenneth Gainwell, Miles Sanders, and quarterback Jalen Hurts – with their running backs combining for just 20 more rushing attempts than their quarterback 46-26.

That, obviously, isn’t good.

Since then, however, the tables have turned, with Nick Sirianni fully embracing a run-heavy approach by Week 8, fittingly, their first game of the season without their top rusher in the lineup. From Lions Week on, the Eagles have had at least two running backs earn double-digit touches in all but one game, with Week 8 featuring three double-digit touchers and Week 12 only featuring on in Boston Scott.

Could the Eagles get by in Week 13 with just Sanders and Gainwell once more? Probably. But what if one of the two gets hurt? Does anyone really want to see Hurts run the ball 18 times like he did versus the New Orleans Saints in Week 11, assuming he’s actually healthy enough to go?

Yeah, I really don’t want to see that again either.

But what are the Philadelphia Eagles to do? Should they scour the waiver hope that a viable runner becomes available? Or should they look to steal away a player like, say, Temple’s own Ryquell Armstead off of the Green Bay Packers practice squad?

Both of those are viable options, but a much easier one would be to simply call up Jason Huntley and give him a shot in Week 13 as a rusher, a receiver out of the backfield, and a kick returner.

Now I’ve written about a Huntley call-up before – here actually – but that was to assist the Eagles’ special teams unit as a return man. In college, Huntley was one of the premier kick returners in the nation, and, considering how ineffective the Eagles’ returners have been so far this season, I surmised that maybe the pride of New Mexico State could add some much-needed pop to the third facet of the game.

Could he still fill that role in Week 13? Yes, and if Huntley is ever called up, I would hope he’d at least get a few chances to take back kicks, but that isn’t the only aspect of his game that could be useful versus the New York Jets. No, during his time with the Aggies, Huntley surpassed 500 yards twice as a rusher and once as a receiver, finishing out his career with 3,316 yards and 25 touchdowns on offense, and 1,521 more yards plus five touchdowns as a kick returner. He came 163 yards short of joining the 5,000 club, which is unfortunate, but parlaying that multi-faceted success to the NFL level would surely make up for that.

While Huntley isn’t a prototypical bruiser between the tackles, he is fast, can really burst through holes in a zone-blocking scheme, and get to the second level in a hurry. He’s a good catcher of the football, ran a faster 40 than every player on the Eagles’ roster not named Quez Watkins or Darius Slay, and presents a different skill set than either any rusher on the Eagles roster.

For the price of… well, of nothing more than an NFL game check, Huntley could make his 2021 onfield debut for the Eagles, log a few snaps on offense and special teams, and provide depth just in case anyone gets injured or is unable to go for one reason or another.

At this point, what more could you ask for?

dark. Next. It’s time to bring Travis Fulgham back to Philly

Heading into the 2021 NFL season, Jason Huntley looked like a darkhorse favorite to make the Philadelphia Eagles roster. That didn’t happen. While that decision initially felt justified, as again, the Eagles barely ran the ball, the team now more or less maintains a 50-50 run-pass ratio, with a few outliers on their side of the spectrum. Whether it’s to earn a legit opportunity to test his mettle or simply to serve as an insurance policy, there’s no reason Huntley shouldn’t be wearing a white and midnight green uniform at Metlife this weekend.