With training camp approaching for the Philadelphia Eagles, everyone is wondering who will be the bell cow in the backfield. Well, the Eagles backfield no longer includes DeMarco Murray, but consists of Darren Sproles, Ryan Mathews, Kenjon Barner, fifth-round draft pick Wendell Smallwood, and a pair of undrafted free agents in Byron Marshall and Cedric O’Neal. Now, It is pretty obvious that Sproles, Matthews, Barner, and Smallwood will make the 53 man roster if all goes well for them in camp.
However, expect Mathews and Sproles to split many carries, but it might be one of those years on playing catch up and it would seem that type of play or style fits Sproles to a higher extent. Now, Mathews will be the main ball carrier on running downs and in close yardage situations, but that all depends how healthy he is, which he has been hurt in almost every single season in his NFL career. Plus, another factor to determine his playing time is if he is going to fumble or hold onto the ball, which he also has problems with in his career. He has fumbled the ball 18 times in his career.
In addition, Sproles and Mathews feed other each other and are actually a good running back duo. Both players last year combined for a total of 856 rushing yards on 189 carries and caught 75 passes for 534 receiving yards.
Finally, I do think Wendell Smallwood will find a way to impress the Eagles. By doing so, Smallwood will steal carries from Sproles and Mathews.