Jay Ajayi will make his Eagles debut as Philadelphia takes on the Denver Broncos today, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. Rapoport says to “expect a small package of plays” for Ajayi.
The Eagles acquired Ajayi earlier this week prior to the NFL trade deadline. Philadelphia sent a 2018 fourth-round pick (the second highest of their three fourths) to the Miami Dolphins in order to get the deal done.
On the surface, it may have seemed like the Eagles didn’t really need help at running back since they rank fifth in rushing yards. But Ajayi gives Philadelphia a much more dynamic threat in the backfield.
With Ajayi’s role likely to be limited, the Eagles could still look to rely on LeGarrette Blount for a bulk of their carries. Corey Clement and Kenjon Barner are likely to be active due to special teams contributions. It would seem Wendell Smallwood is the odd man out; he could be a healthy scratch today.
It’ll be interesting to see if Ajayi can make an instant impact. It won’t be easy for him; Denver’s defense ranks second in opponent rush yards per game and No. 1 in run defense DVOA by Football Outsiders.
All aboard the Jay Train.
In other Eagles-Broncos news, Rapoport reports Zach Ertz is indeed expected to play despite being ruled questionable on the final injury report. Ertz suffered a hamstring issue in practice this week but head coach Doug Pederson said the tight end is going to play.
Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is also reportedly set to play, as expected, after missing a couple games.