The Eagles will be without starting running back Miles Sanders for at least one week, maybe longer. Their leading rusher is battling a knee injury and Sanders’ absence will thrust Boston Scott into the spotlight. It’s not unchartered territory for Scott who thrived down the stretch last year for Philly. But it’s a bit presumptuous to rely on lightning striking twice.
Head coach Doug Pederson has continually touted his comfort level with his backup running backs, most notably Scott and Super Bowl hero Corey Clement. Assistant head coach and running backs whisperer Duce Staley has done the same. And the organization has denied every rumor linking them to interest in signing a veteran back, including guys like Devonta Freeman, Carlos Hyde, and Le’Veon Bell.
The main argument was that Sanders is a three-down feature back, the type of player they haven’t had since Chip Kelly got rid of LeSean McCoy. Now Sanders is out and the Eagles might want to rethink their options. Let’s take a look.
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Potential Eagles RB Replacements, Trade or Free Agency
Marshawn Lynch: By all accounts, the former Seahawks stud is living his best post-football life eating Skittles and playing video games. Lynch wouldn’t want to come back and join an Eagles team in danger of missing the playoffs, would he? Probably not. But the 34-year-old did have discussions to return to Seattle back in May and reportedly never filed his retirement papers. Remember, the man known as “Beast Mode” provided some pretty hard yards in very limited touches in 2019.
Isaiah Crowell: It was surprising not to hear Crowell’s name bandied about more during the offseason, especially since he is only two years removed from a 685-yard season. It’s also been 16 months since the former Browns starter suffered a torn Achilles, so he should be fully healthy at this point. The 27-year-old has averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry for his career while fumbling only six times in six seasons.
LeSean McCoy: The Eagles would have to trade something to Tampa Bay to get the kid they drafted in 2009 on the roster. The price may be cheaper than it was back when they considered signing McCoy as a free agent. The Harrisburg native has only seen 71 total snaps, including six touches for minus-1 yard in 2020. He’s not likely to see much of an uptick there with Ronald Jones III, Leonard Fournette and Ke’Shawn Vaughn crowding the backfield. Maybe it’s time to make the long-awaited family reunion official.
Gus Edwards: Another trade option but one with serious long-term potential in Philly. Edwards will be a restricted free agent after the 2020 season and the Ravens would be smart to trade him while there is a market. The 25-yard carried 14 times for 26 yards and scored a touchdown in Week 6 versus Philly. Edwards (6-foot-1, 238 pounds) has been used as a goal-line vulture and has sneaky speed (4.53 in the 40). He also played one year of college ball at nearby Rutgers.
Spencer Ware: The ex-Chiefs starter has rushed for 1,631 yards in parts of five seasons (43 games), with his best year coming in 2016 when he ran for 921 yards and three touchdowns. He was the stop-gap back between Kareen Hunt and Damien Williams for Andy Reid before ankle and shoulder injuries derailed a once-promising NFL career. With 13 total touchdowns and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield (698 receiving yards), he may be worth spinning the tires on.
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