The Eagles created a major hole on their roster by trading away LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for Kiko Alonso earlier this week. McCoy had entered every season as Philadelphia's starter since the 2010. For a long time that position was a sure thing and now it's a giant question mark. Who will replace the 300+ touches and 1000+ yards McCoy has been responsible for the past two years under Chip Kelly?
That's the question the Eagles will have to answer. The solution doesn't necessarily need to involve one player taking all those touches. Philadelphia could opt to split their running back touches between multiple players. Before we look ahead to external options, let's take stock of who the Eagles already have on their roster.
Darren Sproles (32 in June)
The veteran Sproles proved to be quite a valuable addition for Philadelphia. He made the most out of his limited touches last year with 57 attempts for 329 yards (5.8 average) and 40 receptions for 387 yards. Sproles' age is a concern moving forward but he didn't really signs of slowing at all last year. He played nearly 30% of the team's offensive snaps in 2014 so he could assume the same kind of role in 2015.
Chris Polk (26 in December)
Philadelphia is expected to offer Chris Polk the lowest possible restricted free agent tender. He might not even be back if another team signs him to an offer sheet and the Eagles don't want to match. For now, we'll assume he's back in the fold. Polk has been a touchdown machine in his limited touches with seven scored in 57 attempts. That number is inflated in part because the team used him as a goal-line back at times in 2014.
The team doesn't seem to have long-term interest in Polk based on their low tender offer. They liked him enough to keep him last year despite missing nearly all of training camp but the injury issues could prove troublesome in the future. He'll need to earn a spot on the team in 2015.
Matthew Tucker (24 in May)
Tucker spent half of his rookie season in 2013 on the practice squad before being called up to the active roster. Tucker was stashed at the bottom of the 53 before ending up back on the practice squad in 2014. The former TCU running back has shown some promise in the past two preseasons. In 2014, he ran 24 times for 125 yards (5.2) and four touchdowns. As an undrafted rookie in 2014, he finished with 89 yards on 25 attempts (3.6) and two rushing scores.
Tucker runs hard and could give Polk a challenge for a roster spot.
Kenjon Barner (26 in April)
The Eagles traded a conditional seventh round pick (which didn't transfer) in order to land Barner last summer. He finished the preseason with 53 yards on 12 rushes (4.4). The former Oregon Ducks runner suffered an injury last in the preseason and was waived before being added back to the practice squad during the season. Kelly still believes in his college star running back to some extent.
How will it shake out?
Sproles is the only lock to remain. Polk may have an inside track on a roster spot but Tucker could prove to be a challenge. Barner has an uphill battle to climb.
The Eagles may look to add a running back in free agency and/or the 2015 NFL Draft so it's possible none of these players (except for Sproles) even make the team in 2015.