Smallwood (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game at Dallas, Tim McManus of ESPN.com reports.
With Jay Ajayi fully implemented into the offense, the Eagles don't have a need for five running backs on the active roster Sunday. In Smallwood's stead, LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement and Kenjon Barner will handle any reps left over by Ajayi.
Smallwood ran five times for 25 yards in Sunday's win over the Broncos.
He saw a season-low six offensive snaps but got carries on five of them. Still, despite coach Doug Pederson's claims to the contrary, Smallwood's role in the offense is trending down, and Corey Clement going off for three touchdowns won't help. With a bye coming up in Week 10 and newly-acquired Jay Ajayi sure to take on an even larger role thereafter, fantasy owners have little reason to hold on to the 23-year-old going forward.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday that Smallwood's role wouldn't change following the team's acquisition of fellow running back Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins on Tuesday, Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com reports.
While it's possible that Ajayi won't be a major factor in the Eagles' game plan for the Week 9 matchup with the Broncos as he familiarizes himself with a new playbook, it's difficult to view his addition as anything but a negative development for Smallwood, whose role in the offense had already begun to diminish prior to the trade. Since returning from a two-game absence due to a knee injury, Smallwood has played only 37 offensive snaps in the last two contests, including a season-low 13 in the Week 8 win over the 49ers. Given that LeGarrette Blount and Ajayi are both superior options between the tackles and Ajayi possesses the skills to reasonably fill Smallwood's role as a pass catcher out of the backfield, Pederson may ultimately deem Smallwood as a redundant piece in the offense. Furthermore, with reserve backs Corey Clement and Kenjon Barner holding key responsibilities on the Eagles' special-teams units, Smallwood could very well become a fixture on the inactive list in the second half of the season, given that it's unlikely Pederson would want to dress more than three or four backs on game days.
Following the Ajayi trade, Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson both vouched for LeGarrette Blount's continued involvement in the offense. Since fellow running backs Corey Clement and Kenjon Barner have crucial special-teams roles, it would stand to reason then that the team might leave Smallwood inactive each week rather than carry five running backs. It was already difficult enough to justify Smallwood's ownership in most fantasy formats given his limited role behind Blount the past two weeks, and the addition of Ajayi only further clouds Smallwood's path to meaningful snaps.
Smallwood played a season-low 13 snaps in Sunday's 33-10 win over the 49ers, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.
Smallwood logged 24 snaps the previous week in his first game back from a knee injury, gaining 25 yards on eight carries and 14 yards on two receptions in a 34-24 win over the Redskins. He essentially disappeared in Sunday's blowout victory over the Niners, taking just one carry for five yards while catching one of two targets for nine yards. Smallwood's role on passing downs should keep him a bit busier in more competitive contests, but Sunday's snap distribution nonetheless appears worrisome in regard to his playing time on early downs. Before Sunday he'd been splitting carries with LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement, taking at least eight in each of his last three appearances. A Week 9 matchup with the run-stuffing Broncos would seem to favor Smallwood over Blount and Clement.
|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|