Jay Ajayi’s lasting memory from the 2018 season will be fumbling inside the five-yard line in a 23-21 loss to the Vikings. Ajayi appeared to simply lose the football after taking the handoff, and the Eagles never recovered. At 2-3, there is some panic in the City of Brotherly Love that there is a Super Bowl hangover.
With Ajayi done for the season with an ACL injury, and the Eagles offense sputtering – just 5.2 yards per play, 25th in the NFL, compared to last year’s 5.6, which placed 8th – perhaps it’s time for the Eagles to get creative. Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson loves to take risks – how about convincing his GM to trade for unhappy Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell?
While Bell is looking for a big money contract next offseason, and he claimed over the weekend he does not want to be traded … if the Eagles want to get back to the Super Bowl, they’ll need to amplify the running game.
Thirty-five year old Darren Sproles figured prominently in the opener, but hasn’t played since due to a hamstring injury. The other two running backs on the roster are Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood.
Clement was effective as a pass-catcher in the Super Bowl (4 catches, 100 yards, TD), but has only had four games with double-digit carries as a pro. He was undrafted in 2017 out of Wisconsin.
Smallwood is woeful in pass protection, and dropped a touchdown pass against the Vikings.
Le’Veon Bell solves three problems, instantly: Pass protection (good), pass catching (great), rushing (great). The Eagles do have an extra 2019 2nd round draft pick from the Texans, a pick that should be in the low 40s. You’re telling me Bell isn’t worth a rental for two 2nd round picks (2019, 2020)?