Eagles leading rusher Jay Ajayi out for the year after reportedly tearing his ACL
The Eagles are going to have to make it through the rest of the season without Ajayi
According to ESPN.com, Ajayi tore his ACL during Philadelphia's 23-21 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. The injury means that the Eagles are going to have to play the rest of the season without their leading rusher. Through five weeks, Ajayi has rushed for 184 yards.
The running back, who totaled just 29 rushing yards against the Vikings, actually called the team's coaching staff out after the loss. Ajayi was upset that the team gave up on the run so early.
"Obviously we want to be able to run the ball early and start that rhythm early in the beginning of the game. If I remember correctly, we had maybe three carries at the end of the first quarter," Ajayi said, via ESPN.com. "With the offensive line we have on this team, running the ball like that, that doesn't make sense to me."
Eagles coach Doug Pederson actually agreed with Ajayi that the team should have had a better run-pass balance against the Vikings.
"Look, it's definitely a fine line. You'd love to have balance. We just got in a situation where we fell behind, and even in the third quarter, it was 20-3 and we were working ourselves back," Pederson said. "I love to run the football. I think our guys are good at it, and we've been successful at it. But at the same time, we can't get behind in football games because sometimes the running game won't allow you to get back fast enough."
The Eagles have attempted a total of 205 passes this year compared to just 125 runs, which is 62.1 to 37.9 percent pass-run ratio. When they won the Super Bowl last season, the ratio was 54.4 percent pass to 45.6 percent run.
If Pederson and the Eagles do decide to start running the ball more this year, that's likely going to mean more carries for Wendell Smallwood now that Ajayi is out for the season. The Eagles also have another running back option in Corey Clement, although Clement hasn't seen any action over the past two weeks due to an injured quad. The problem for the Eagles is that Clement isn't the only back battling injuries. The team also has Darren Sproles, but he hasn't played since Week 1 due to a hamstring injury.
Besides Smallwood, the only other healthy back on the roster is Josh Adams, who has carried the ball just seven times for 29 yards on the season.
As for Ajayi, the ACL injury continues a painful year. Ajayi suffered Buccaneers and had actually played the past three weeks with a transverse fracture in his back. There's also a chance that Ajayi has played his final down with the Eagles. The running back, who was on Halloween Day 2017, is in the final year of his rookie deal and will become a free agent in March.the
Pick Six Newsletter
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Conner beat cancer in 2016 before getting drafted by the Steelers the following year
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated the entire 2019 NFL season 10,000 times
The new Giants receiver has a controversial opinion about the quarterbacks he's caught passes...
And is there a deeper conspiracy behind how 'Madden' ratings are formed?
Hester's son is breaking ankles at football camp
R.J. White has crushed the Las Vegas SuperContest twice