Mathews (neck) is still likely to be released, PhillyVoice.com's Jimmy Kempski reports.
Mathews was cleared to resume working out around the time of the draft, and while he still hasn't passed a physical, the Eagles likely expect him to do so before the start of training camp. The team apparently intends to release him with an injury settlement even if he can't pass a physical, ready to move forward with a backfield led by Wendell Smallwood (knee), Darren Sproles and fourth-round rookie Donnel Pumphrey. Philadelphia could look to add some size to its backfield through free agency or a trade, as LeGarrette Blount remains unsigned and a few teams appear to have at least three or four competent runners.
Mathews (neck) has been cleared to work out, Martin Frank of the Delaware News Journal reports.
General manager Howie Roseman said as much following the conclusion of the NFL Draft on Saturday. During the event, the Eagles expressed a pseudo vote of confidence in thier existing running back corps, bringing in just Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round. Before he can begin fending off the likes of Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood (knee) in the offseason program, Mathews' primary hurdle remains his recovery from surgery on a herniated disk in his neck. Although Mathews is now able to work out, the extent of his activity is unknown upon the completion of Phase 1 of the program this past week.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman said last week that Mathews was doing well as he recovers from surgery on his herniated disk, Calkins Media reports. "Ryan is doing great and we full expect him to be ready to play," Roseman noted at the Combine. "He's under contract and it's as simple as that at this time."
It has been speculated that Mathews will be released to bring the Eagles $4 million in cap relief, but Roseman would not comment on the situation since league rules prohibit cutting an injured player. The running back will be entering his age-30 season in 2017 and has always struggled with injuries and ball-control issues, but he should be healthy by the time next season begins and able to contribute wherever he ends up. Wendell Smallwood (knee) and Darren Sproles remain in the fold for the Eagles, but the club is likely to try and bring in additional help via free agency or the draft, if Mathews is in fact let go once he's healthy, according to Philly.com.
Mathews (back) rushed 155 times for 661 yards and eight touchdowns to go with 13 receptions (on 14 targets) for 115 yards and another score in 13 games played this season.
Mathews was the Eagles' best offensive weapon for much of this season, accounting for a career-best nine touchdowns on the campaign. Although underwhelming overall, his 661 rushing yards marked his most since 2013, and Mathews averaged at least 4.3 yards per carry for the fourth straight season. While that made him a productive fantasy commodity when healthy, injuries once again damaged his stock, as Mathews not only missed two games due to a knee ailment, but also ended the season on IR after suffering a herniated disk during Week 16. That back problem will require the 29-year-old Mathews' progress to be tracked this offseason, when he'll transition into his final year under contract with the Eagles.
Initially diagnosed with a stinger last Thursday versus the Giants, further evaluation revealed a herniated disk, which won't allow Mathews to suit up in Week 17. As a result, landing on injured reserve was more or less expected as he turns his focus to rehabilitation. With Mathews out of the lineup Sunday against the Cowboys, the Eagles will rely upon the duo of Darren Sproles and Byron Marshall to fuel the ground game.
|P1||8/10/17||@ GB||8:00 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ NYJ||7:00 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|2||9/17/17||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|4||10/1/17||@ LAC||4:05 pm|
|6||10/12/17||@ CAR||8:25 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|11||11/19/17||@ DAL||8:30 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ SEA||8:30 pm|
|14||12/10/17||@ LAR||4:25 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|