Adams is facing a six-month recovery timeline from January surgery on the labrum in his shoulder, Mike Kaye of NJ.com reports.
The timeline rules Adams out for the offseason program and raises doubt about his availability for the start of training camp. He enjoyed a brief stretch as the Eagles' lead back after catching on as an undrafted rookie in 2018, but he'll likely need to battle for a roster spot after the team traded for Jordan Howard earlier this offseason. On a more optimistic note, the shoulder injury might help explain why Adams dropped out of the game plan during the playoffs, though it probably had more to do with his struggles as a pass blocker and receiver. He took 71 carries for 286 yards (4.0 average) and three touchdowns during his five-game stint as the starter Weeks 11-15, but he caught just three of eight targets for 19 yards in that same stretch.
The trade is particularly bad news for Adams, considering both he and Howard are big backs with subpar passing-game skills. The Notre Dame product caught on as an undrafted rookie in 2018 and eventually found his way to the lead backfield role, but he played just one snap in two playoff games and likely needs to battle for a roster spot in 2019.
Adams may need to compete for his roster spot in 2019, Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP Sports Radio reports.
While the Eagles haven't made any additions to their backfield through the first few days of the league year, they still figure to search for upgrades in the free-agent bargain bin and the upcoming draft. Adams enjoyed a nice stretch as the team's lead runner late in his rookie season until he fell out of favor during the playoffs with just one touch in two games. He's subject to a wide range of outcomes in 2019, with potential to reprise the lead role or fall off the team entirely. Such is life for an undrafted running back who hasn't displayed any value in the passing game.
Adams didn't play a snap in the 20-14 playoff loss to the Saints.
After spending much of the latter portion of the season as the primary running back, Adams' Week 16 fumble seemed to mark an abrupt end to that tenure. Still, he finished an impressive rookie season with 511 yards and three touchdowns on 120 carries. He added 58 yards while catching seven of 13 targets. The former Notre Dame standout will likely battle Wendell Smallwood for starting duties again in 2019 in addition to anyone else the team brings in via the draft or free agency.
Offensive coordinator Mike Groh suggested Tuesday that game flow played a part in Adams being limited to just one snap during the Eagles' wild-card victory over the Bears this past weekend, Zack Rosenblatt of The Newark Star-Ledger reports. "We had a package for him but over the course of the game it didn't go that way," Groh said.
After carrying once for two yards on the Eagles' first possession of the game, Adams never saw the field again, with Darren Sproles (13 carries for 21 yards, two receptions for 14 yards) and Wendell Smallwood (eight carries for 20 yards, two receptions for 20 yards) instead picking up the brunt of the backfield work the rest of the way. Given that neither team led by more than five points during the contest and the Eagles notably gave the 5-foot-6, 190-pound Sproles back-to-back goal-line carries on their final possession, Groh's comments about the game flow being unfavorable for Adams wouldn't seem to hold much water. Since neither Sproles nor Smallwood was especially productive in his opportunities, it wouldn't be surprising if Adams regains prominence in the game plan during Sunday's divisional-round matchup with the Saints, though that's far from guaranteed. Predicting the distribution of touches out of the Philadelphia backfield for the rest of the postseason will likely be an exercise in futility.
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