Running Back Battle Is Not Sexy But It's Important For The Philadelphia Eagles

By Joseph Hickman
Bryce Brown Philadelphia Eagles
Howard Smith-USA Today Sports

There are battles everywhere on the Philadelphia Eagles. You have the secondary battle going on, the outside linebacker tussle, and obviously the starting quarterback battle. I have another one that I have my eye on, and that would be the backup running back battle or you can even say the third string battle. Yes, I know its not as “sexy’ as the other battles, but it’s important. We all know in this league you need two good running backs — even three. That’s just the way it is in the NFL this day in age.

According the the NFL Players Association from a few years back, the average career of an NFL player is 3.3 years. The running backs were even shorter and actually they have the shortest average careers at 2.57 years. This report was done in 2011, so it could be even shorter now. The reasons are obvious; they take a beating. They’re blocking defensive ends and a linebackers or they’re getting hammered by one. So yeah, it’s important to have multiple good running backs.

LeSean McCoy is leading the pack (obviously), and he looks fully healthy and ready to go. Just ask the Carolina Panthers about that. Shady hit the “juke” button on the PlayStation controller a few times on them.  I believe that Bryce Brown has the second spot locked up even though he sat out the last preseason game. So that third spot comes down to three guys in Chris Polk, Felix Jones, and Matthew Tucker.

Polk ran the ball well on Thursday against the Panthers. He ran the ball five times for 26 yards and also had one catch for nine yards. Jones was knocked out of the game, after suffering a rib injury. Before getting injured, he ran the ball four times for 14 yards. Jones has been banged up all training camp/preseason. His injuries might force the Eagles’ hand in letting him go. The one who is leading the Eagles in rushing this preseason is Tucker. He has rushed for 59 yards on 15 carries even though he is a long shot to make the team.

The battle is down to Polk and Jones. The way Jones can’t stay healthy, it might be given to Polk by default. That is not a shot at Polk; that’s called an NFL running back’s life.

Joseph Hickman is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for Follow him on Twitter @phillytugger, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+

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