A missed opportunity for Donnel Pumphrey
On Thursday the Eagles opened the preseason with a 31-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dallas Goedert and Shelton Gibson were each able to find the end zone on which was otherwise a disappointing night. While Goedert and Gibson shined there were others who did not. A player who needed a good game was Pumphrey, however, Thursday’s game turned out to be a missed opportunity.
Donnel Pumphrey out Tonight
— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) August 9, 2018
Times ticking on the NCAA’s leading rusher
Many expected this to be a coming out party for Pumphrey. The former Aztec had spent the offseason working on his body and as a result was able to add 10 pounds. He looked NFL ready after missing his rookie season and tonight’s game was his chance. Unfortunately, just hours before kickoff it was announced that Pumphrey would not play due to a lower-body injury.
While there are three games remaining this is a critical blow to Pumphrey’s chances at making the final 53 man roster. With Darren Sproles getting the night off and Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement receiving limited work this was a golden chance for Pumphrey to showcase his talent.
How the other backs faired
Along with Pumphrey, there are three other backs battling for a roster spot. Matt Jones another back fighting for a spot also missed the Steelers game. This would open the door for Wendall Smallwood and Josh Adams to receive significant playing time.
Forget the score. It doesn’t matter. Dallas Goedert picked right up where he left off at camp….a legitimate NFL talent who doesn’t look like a rookie. Also RB Josh Adams showed power and quickness in his first game action as a pro.
— Merrill Reese (@mreeseeagles) August 10, 2018
Adams a UDFA out of Notre Dame made the most of his time taking six carries for 30 yards. Smallwood who also needs a strong showing ran for 21 yards on six carries. Adams appears to have made the biggest impact as he pushes for a spot.
Whats next for Pumphrey
Next week the Eagles travel to New England for a super bowl rematch with the Patriots. It is critical that Pumphrey plays and does well in this game. When battling for a roster spot there are no games to waste especially in a crowded backfield like the Eagles possess. If Pumphrey has any hopes of making the final roster he cannot afford another missed opportunity.