The Philadelphia Eagles entered the 2018 season with a few question marks, but one thing that seemed fairly certain was who their starting running back would be. After acquiring Jay Ajayi from the Miami Dolphins via trade, the 25-year-old back impressed over seven games with the Eagles last season.
Philadelphia sent just a fourth-round pick to the Dolphins in order to bring Ajayi to town, per ESPN. In turn, they addressed one of their biggest areas of need in 2017, as he tallied 408 yards on 70 carries (5.8 yards per carry) while tacking on one receiving touchdown. Unfortunately, Ajayi’s 2018 season took a tough turn just four games in when he suffered a torn ACL.
Now, the talented running back faces a bit of an uncertain future and question marks remain on where he’ll play in 2019 and beyond.
Jay Ajayi Tears ACL in Week 4
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter back on October 8, Ajayi’s torn ACL ended his year and shortly after he landed on injured reserve. Through the first four games of the season, the Eagles starting back had totaled 184 yards on 45 carries with three touchdowns.
As ESPN’s Tim McManus revealed, Ajayi questioned the team’s playcalling after that game, a 23-21 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
“Obviously we want to be able to run the ball early and start that rhythm early in the beginning of the game. If I remember correctly, we had maybe three carries at the end of the first quarter,” he told reporters afterwards.
“With the offensive line we have on this team, running the ball like that, that doesn’t make sense to me.”
At the time, Ajayi was also playing with a transverse fracture in his back and the news of his ACL injury didn’t even come to light until the day after the game.
Latest on Jay Ajayi’s Injury & Future With Eagles
Not surprisingly, Ajayi was placed on injured reserve due to the ACL injury, as there was virtually no chance he’d be able to return during the year. Since that point, there hasn’t been much revealed on his status. The Eagles running back will continue his rehab to get to 100 percent and on the field early in 2019, but his future remains up in the air.
While Ajayi was spotted at the Eagles playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, he’s set to be a free agent after the year, per Spotrac. Whether the team will make a push to re-sign him or not is the big question, as there will likely be at least some level of concern over the injury. Even beyond that, it could come down to money and the type of deal Ajayi is seeking.
Prior to the injury, there’s obvious reason to believe Ajayi would have received a decent-sized contract with a fair amount of guaranteed money. Due to how things played out, the Eagles may be able to bring him back on a short-term deal that won’t break the bank if they have interest in doing so.