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Eagles RB Jay Ajayi expected to receive touches vs. Patriots

Jay Ajayi

Jay Ajayi signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday. Days later, on Sunday, he is expected to get touches against the New England Patriots, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Ajayi’s immediate receiving of touches results from the inactive status of starting running back Jordan Howard, who is dealing with a shoulder injury. Miles Sanders and Boston Scott will carry the brunt of the workload with Ajayi assisting.

Before tearing his ACL four games into the 2018 season, Ajayi, 26, was the starting back for the Eagles. He recorded 45 rushes for 184 yards (4.1 yards per attempt) and three touchdowns prior to suffering the season-ending injury.

Philadelphia did not re-sign Ajayi in the offseason. He made a full recovery from the ACL tear late in the summer. Since then, the 2016 Pro Bowler (with the Miami Dolphins) visited with numerous running back-needy teams before ending up where he last played football.

The Eagles finally plucked Ajayi off of the free agency market after Darren Sproles’ placement on the injured reserve (torn hip flexor muscle). The terms of the deal are not yet known.

In 11 games with the Eagles in 2017 and 2018, Ajayi compiled 115 attempts for 592 yards and four touchdowns (5.1 yards per attempt). During Philadelphia’s Super Bowl run, he amassed 42 carries for 184 yards (4.4 yards per attempt) and six receptions for 70 yards.

Sunday’s tilt with the Patriots, for Ajayi, is a chance to prove that he still has gas in the tank, despite multiple knee injuries throughout his career. A late-season rebound could warrant more attention in the 2020 free agency market.