The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to get back on track in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts, but it appears that the team will be a bit shorthanded in the backfield.
According to Tom Pelissero of The NFL Network, running backs Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles were both out of practice on Friday that has led to the growing notion that both players will be unavailable to play Sunday afternoon.
No Jay Ajayi or Darren Sproles at start of #Eagles practice. Seems to indicate they won’t play Sunday vs. #Colts.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 21, 2018
Prior to that, there has been a growing expectation that both players would be unable to take the field against the Colts as their participation in practice has been limited at best. Ajayi is dealing with a back injury that flared up in the first half of last Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that forced him to exit the contest early. Meanwhile, Sproles is working his way back from a hamstring injury that had come about from the game and has lingered over the last few days that had forced him to miss much practice. Sproles has notched 10 rushing yards on five attempts with four catches for 22 receiving yards.
Ajayi had been holding the starting job prior to the injury where he had played well in his limited role with 85 rushing yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns. He has been a major factor in the red zone for the Eagles that has provided them with much-needed stability in the running game to bring balance to the offense. His absence will leave a major void with their workhorse running back out of the mix in a crucial game this week.
The Eagles are expected to turn to second-year tailback Corey Clement to take over the spot start duties as he proved to be effective last week rushing for 30 yards on six carries with a touchdown that came on a 15-yard run. He also hauled in five catches for 55 receiving yards in the loss. This should see Wendell Smallwood factor in the equation with his ability to impact the game as a dual-threat option out of the backfield.