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Eagles sign Jay Ajayi, place Darren Sproles on injured reserve

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Jay Train back.

Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles re-signed Jay Ajayi, according to an official announcement from the team. News of Ajayi visiting the NovaCare Complex first emerged late on Thursday evening.

The Eagles suddenly found themselves needing more depth at running back with Darren Sproles and Jordan Howard both injured. Sproles is out for the season after being placed on injured reserve and Howard’s status for this week’s game is questionable. Doug Pederson said Howard hasn’t been cleared for contact as of Friday morning.

Here’s what BGN wrote about Ajayi earlier today:

The 26-year-old Ajayi hasn’t suited up since tearing his ACL in last year’s October 7 Eagles versus Vikings game. Ajayi was also playing through a fractured back before his 2018 season was cut short. Ajayi has been a free agent since March and he’s garnered some workouts since then but no team has been willing to sign him. [...] Ajayi was an effective contributor for the Eagles after they acquired him ahead of the 2017 NFL trade deadline. In 14 games with Philly (including playoffs), the man they call the Jay Train logged 157 carries for 776 yards (4.9 average), and four rushing touchdowns. He also had 21 receptions for 181 yards and one score. On the downside, ball security was an issue as Ajayi did have four fumbles.

If Howard can’t suit up, Ajayi figures to be one of three running backs active for this weekend’s game against the New England Patriots. But could Ajayi really play much without even taking a single practice rep since last year? Here’s what Pederson had to say:

“Yeah, I think so. Don’t lose site too, De’Angelo Henderson is on our practice squad, he’s another candidate that has been working really hard in our offense, knows our system, and has been here too, so we have a couple of options there. If it’s Jay and really if it’s either one, I think we can give them a little bit of work.”

The Eagles clearly went with re-signing Ajayi over promoting Henderson.

With Ajayi likely not ready for a major workload, the Eagles could have to rely on rookie running back Miles Sanders and practice squad call up Boston Scott as their primary backs. And the Eagles will probably need to run a lot to win this game since their ineffective passing attack isn’t bound to have success against New England’s top ranked pass defense.