The Philadelphia Eagles signed free agent running back Elijah Holyfield and placed backup defensive end Daeshon Hall on injured reserve, according to an official announcement from the team.
The Hall news was expected since Doug Pederson told reporters he suffered an ACL tear on the final play of the Eagles’ win over the New York Giants. Bummer. Hall was excellent in the preseason but only played sparingly in the regular season: 4% defensive snaps and 14% special teams snaps.
The Holyfield signing wasn’t so expected. It’s interesting the Eagles are signing a running back. Both Pederson’s comments and media reports indicate Miles Sanders should be able to play against the Seattle Seahawks this week:
An MRI showed #Eagles RB Miles Sanders has a low-grade low ankle sprain, source said. Inflammation is the issue right now; coach Doug Peterson said his star rookie is "going to be OK," a good sign for Sanders' chances of playing in Sunday's playoff against the #Seahawks.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 31, 2019
Perhaps the Eagles are just being extra cautious, especially since Jordan Howard is also coming off injury and only played one snap against the New York Giants. The Eagles were down to relying on just Boston Scott in Week 17.
Elijah is indeed the son of famous boxer Evander Holyfield. The younger Holyfield had a strong junior season at Georgia with 159 rushing attempts for 1,018 yards and seven touchdowns. He was getting some hype leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft before totally bombing his athletic testing. Holyfield only ran a 4.78 second 40-yard time, which is pretty bad!
Elijah Holyfield posted a very poor #RAS at the Combine, but at his pro day he put up the worst vertical I have ever recorded for a running back (out of 1,286), assuming that number is accurate. pic.twitter.com/SLDbqXvhyn— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 30, 2019
It wasn’t shocking, then, to see Holyfield go undrafted.
He signed with the Carolina Panthers as a rookie free agent and did okay in the summer. His 19 preseason rushing attempts went for 79 yards (4.2 average) and one touchdown. He also had six receptions for 28 yards and one receiving touchdown.
The Panthers waived Holyfield in final cuts and he spent the entire 2019 season on their practice squad. Holyfield is one of three practice squad players Carolina didn’t re-sign to a future contract.
Adding Holyfield seems like insurance for Howard ... both if he gets re-injured this season and if/when he leaves in free agency. They both profile as more physical backs who don’t really contribute much in the passing game.
It’s interesting the Eagles signed Holyfield instead of just promoting De’Angelo Henderson from the practice squad. Henderson joined the team back in October.
The Eagles are expected to place Brandon Brooks, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, on injured reserve this week so it won’t be long before the team frees up another roster spot.
I'm in on Elijah Holyfield, folks pic.twitter.com/Xo1I8l468E— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) February 2, 2019
RB Corey Clement
CB Ronald Darby
S Rudy Ford
DE Daeshon Hall
WR DeSean Jackson
DT Malik Jackson
WR Alshon Jeffery
LB Kamu Grugier-Hill
OT Jordan Mailata
DE Joe Ostman
DT Hassan Ridgeway
RB Darren Sproles