Every time a power running back hits the waiver wire, he gets linked to the Philadelphia Eagles. Well, this time the rumor tree bore fruit as the team is expected to sign Jordan Howard to their practice squad after (hopefully) the Pro Bowl rusher clears COVID-19 protocols.
The Dolphins released Howard on Monday in a “mutual parting of ways,” according to multiple reports. The 6-foot, 224-pounder had been used sparingly in Miami as a goal-line back — 28 carries for 33 yards, plus four touchdowns — and the recent success of undrafted rookie Salvon Ahmed made Howard expendable.
“This was in the best interest of both parties, ours and his,” Miami coach Brian Flores said, via the Sun-Sentinel. “A lot of respect for him, respect for the way he worked. No ill will. Just thought it was best for both parties.”
The 26-year-old has plenty of tread left on the tires after rushing for 525 yards in 10 games last year for Philly. He probably would have hit 1,000 if it weren’t for a mysterious shoulder “stinger” that sidelined him. He has hit the 1,000-yard mark twice in his career while racking up 3,928 yards on the ground. Howard, assuming he passes a physical and gets elevated to the active roster, looks to be the perfect complement to starter Miles Sanders.
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Sanders Ultimate ‘Team Player’ for Eagles
The timing of the Howard signing was very coincidental since it happened on the same day Sanders had been talking about not lobbying for a bigger workload. In fact, the second-year back out of Penn State declared himself a “team player” who was willing to do whatever the coaches asked.
It’s unclear what Howard’s role might be in the Philly backfield, but his presence could cut into Sanders’ carries. Remember, he started the 2019 campaign as Howard’s backup.
“Last year it was me and Jordan Howard. I’m pretty used to sharing the ball,” Sanders told reporters on Thursday. “I’m all about winning. That’s all I care about. I’m not going to be over there tripping about not getting the rock. If we’re winning, I don’t care. That’s just how I am.”
Always Looking for Talent, Explosive Players
The Eagles are constantly looking at ways to upgrade the roster, infuse it with talent. So when a report came out in early October saying the team had worked out then-free-agent running back Devonta Freeman, nobody blinked an eye.
Assistant head coach Duce Staley denied it at the time but left the door open for future moves. The fact that Sanders has sustained one injury after another has to be a tad concerning.
“We are always looking for talent,” Staley told reporters on Oct. 2, “and we are always looking for anybody out there that can help. No matter what the position, you can bring them in for a workout and see if he can help your team. That’s what this is about.”
Staley, who racked up 4,807 yards in seven seasons in Philly, gave Sanders a huge vote of confidence early in the year when he bluntly stated: “there’s a reason why he’s one.” He was confident in him handling the bell-cow role.
“I think that he can handle it. I’ll start there,” Staley said. “I wouldn’t put a lot on someone’s plate if I didn’t think they could handle it.”
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