Adams apparently has some fans on the Eagles’ coaching staff as well. Offensive coordinator Mike Groh had praise for the rookie rusher on Monday.
“He’s a guy who has done a nice job in the games,” said Groh. “Like you said, he’s missed quite a bit of time with a couple of nagging things physically. But with his size – and he’s run well. He’s run strong. He’s made guys miss. I think he’s been assignment sound. So, he’s a young player that we’re enthused about.”
Head coach Doug Pederson also had some praise for Adams on Wednesday. Unlike with Groh, however, Pederson wasn’t specifically prompted about the Notre Dame alumnus. Pederson brought Adams up on his own when asked about determining final roster spots.
“Another [player] who hasn’t gotten a lot of touches in ball games is Josh Adams,” Pederson said. “So we want to maybe get him involved in this game a little bit early and see what he can do. He’s another one that’s a bright young spot. Bright, young player that’s made an impact.”
This from Pederson caused NFL insider Mike Garafolo to weigh in with some things he’s heard about Adams.
#Eagles coach Doug Pederson says he wants to get undrafted RB Josh Adams involved early on Thursday. That's a guy teams have been monitoring. If the Eagles try to slip him through waivers and onto the practice squad, I'm not sure he makes it.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 28, 2018
Then again, the fact Pederson is going to give Adams snaps and put some decent film out there could be an indication they've already decided to keep him on the roster. Usually teams try to hide players they've ticketed for the practice squad.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 28, 2018
Adam Caplan piggy-backed on what Garafolo had to say.
#Eagles have at least 5-6 players who, if waived, will have the attention of other teams on waivers come Sunday. Adams is certainly one of them. Teams call these good problems to have. https://t.co/hFrx7O2F4v— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) August 28, 2018
If the Eagles truly want to not risk losing Adams (who received one of the biggest undrafted free agent signing bonuses) on waivers, they’ll have to keep him on the 53-man roster. That likely means keeping him over Wendell Smallwood, who is a more experienced option. But how much is experience valuable when the fourth running back isn’t even likely to be active on game day? Couldn’t that better be used for a developmental spot?
That’s the decision the Eagles have to make.
Another option is that the Eagles find a way to stash Adams on injured reserve for the 2018 season. That way they could keep him around for the long-term while having Smallwood as their fourth guy in the short-term. I personally think the Eagles might prefer this situation.
There’s no question Adams has shown some juice in limited opportunities thus far. Through two preseason games played, Adams has 10 carries for 63 rushing yards (6.3 average).
It’ll be interesting to see how Adams looks on Thursday night and what kind of playing time the rookie gets.