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NFL Philadelphia Eagles

Help Has Arrived: LeSean McCoy Returns as Philadelphia Eagles Starting RB Sunday

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

I have just three words for you, Bryce Brown: grab some bench.

After missing four consecutive games due to lingering concussion issues, Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will return to his post at starting tailback. This means that the backup, Brown, will be headed back to the sideline to be used sparingly.

McCoy is one of the elite running backs in the NFL, so his return to any offense automatically pushes aside the player who had been filling in. With Brown showing that he has a lot to improve on at the professional level, the Eagles should be delighted to have McCoy back.

Brown’s short tenure as the Eagles’ starting running back started off with incredible promise, as the rookie rushed for an absurd 347 yards and four touchdowns in his first two starts combined.

But in his third career start, Brown came crashing back to earth against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14, rushing for a microscopic six yards on 12 carries. Brown’s reliability took a bigger hit when he followed up that awful performance with another pathetic effort last week, when he rushed for just 34 yards on 16 carries against the Cincinnati Bengals.

While McCoy is certainly a feature-back and should handle the overwhelming majority of the work in the running game, Brown could possibly get some looks in goal-line and short yardage situations.

Brown has more of a hard-nose, straight ahead running style, as opposed to how McCoy relies largely on his incredible speed and elusiveness.

The main weakness that Brown displayed in his limited time as a starter was his inability to hold onto and protect the football. Brown lost a total of four fumbles in his four games at the helm.

As the Eagles are currently holding an atrocious 4-10 record, the outcomes of their final two games don’t really mean anything in the long run. At the same time, it presents a great opportunity to get young players professional experience, and for management to evaluate the roster for next year.

Eagles QB Nick Foles will be elated to have McCoy alongside him again, as the Brown and Foles duo showed a need for a veteran presence in the backfield. Michael Vick is now listed as the Eagles’ 3rd-team QB after finally being cleared to play since he suffered a concussion himself in Week 10.

The Eagles’ primary motivation on Sunday will be to play spoiler, as divisional rival Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins look to make a late playoff-push.

 

Please follow Joe on Twitter @Joe_RantNFL for all Eagles/NFL insight.