Just when you thought we were done hearing about running back drama this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network dropped some bombs on Philadelphia Eagles fans Sunday morning. First was a report that DeMarco Murray, who had voiced his displeasure with his usage after the Patriots game to Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffery Lurie, would be demoted for the game against the Bills.
Now Rapoport is filling in some of the details of Murray's postgame chat with Lurie:
On DeMarco Murray's chat with Jeffrey Lurie: Murray didn't think Chip was approachable. Murray questioned Kelly & Duce Staley to the owner— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 13, 2015
Rapoport gave more detail on NFL Network's GameDay Morning:
"As for his talk with Jeffrey Lurie, my understanding is he didn't approach Chip Kelly for the same talk because he didn't think Chip was as approachable ... which, of course, represents a bigger problem. Murray has not made a ton of friends in the Eagles' locker room, this rubs some people the wrong way, especially this week. So it's worth considering what role he will have going forward."
Murray's concerns aren't all that surprising, but they are troubling. The Eagles brought in the former Dallas Cowboys running back to be the lead horse in their talented stable of running backs that also includes Ryan Mathews (who returns from injury this week), Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner.
And while many of the Murray's concerns about Chip Kelly are things we've heard before, his comments about running backs coach Duce Staley are new. According to Kelly, the former Eagles running back is in charge of rotating the backs during the game, which could be the source of Murray's frustration.
In the end, though, Murray's hardly in a position to complain. He has the league's fourth-worst yards per attempt this season (3.5), and has looked like a bad scheme fit from the start of the season. Last week against the Patriots, Murray ran eight times for 24 yards - with 19 of those yards coming on one play. Heck, he was outplayed by Kenjon Barner in that game.
As for Sunday's critical game (which, oh by the way, features another high-profile running back who's been causing plenty of media attention this week) - Sproles and Mathews will likely get the lion's share of the carries, with Barner and Murray fighting for scraps. It's unclear at this point whether this demotion is permanent, or more of a punishment for this week.
Can we just start the game already?