It was Smallwood and not Corey Clement who took on lead-back duties Thursday in the wake of Jay Ajayi's season-ending knee injury, although Clement outgained him by 18 total yards due to his work through the air. Smallwood found running room hard to come by, but he demonstrated his ability to handle a heavy workload by logging a career-high number of carries. Given the similarities in skill set between Smallwood and Clement, the two could have interchangeable roles week-to-week moving forward. Smallwood will look to improve his overall production in a Week 7 matchup against the Panthers.
Following Jay Ajayi's diagnosis of a torn ACL, Smallwood should experience an uptick in touches for the rest of the season, Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The Eagles backfield has been a revolving door this season due to injuries, but Ajayi's is by far the most serious to befall the group. Smallwood has benefited the past four games as Darren Sproles (hamstring) missed all of them and Corey Clement (quadriceps) sat out the last two, though the latter was active in the event of an emergency Sunday against the Vikings. On the season, Smallwood has averaged 6.0 YPC on 25 rushes, hauled in 10 of 15 passes, and scored two touchdowns in five contests. Expect his role to increase, depending on the health of Sproles and Clement.
Smallwood carried five times for 39 yards and caught three of five targets for 15 more yards in Sunday's 26-23 loss to Tennessee.
With Darren Sproles (hamstring) and Corey Clement (quad) both inactive, Smallwood played 36 snaps, just five fewer than Jay Ajayi on the day, while Josh Adams played just one. With increased opportunity the past two weeks. Smallwood has shown more versatility, seeing 10 targets and catching six after hauling in just 13 of 18 in eight games last season. If both Sproles and Clement are still unable to return for the Week 5 home tilt with Minnesota, Smallwood would again be in line for a similar role.
Smallwood rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and added 35 yards on three catches during Sunday's 20-16 win over the Colts.
What a difference a few weeks make. In late August, Smallwood was on the roster bubble. On Sunday, he took an inside handoff into the end zone for a four-yard, game-winning score with just three minutes remaining. It was a surprise performance for Smallwood, who totaled just 30 yards in the Eagles' first two games. Jay Ajayi (back) being held out was certainly a big factor, but it'll be interesting to see whether Smallwood is capable of adding another dimension to the Eagles' stable in the weeks ahead. His first test will be Week 4 against a rugged Titans defense.
Smallwood is primed for an expanded role Sunday against the Colts, Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP Sports Radio reports.
The extent of the role increase largely depends on whether Corey Clement (quad) is absent or limited after being added to Friday's injury report and listed as questionable. Smallwood was already geared up for the No. 2 running back job in the absence of Jay Ajayi (back) and Darren Sproles (hamstring), and there's now some chance for the third-year pro to get a start, though Eagles beat reporters all seem to agree that Clement is on track to play. Even if that happens, an in-game setback would leave Smallwood and undrafted rookie Josh Adams as the only available running backs.
|8||10/28/18||@ JAC||9:30 am|
|Bye: Week 9|
|11||11/18/18||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ DAL||4:25 pm|
|15||12/16/18||@ LAR||8:20 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|