For years, I have stanned for Jordan Howard. He’s someone I wanted the Eagles to draft back in 2016, and someone I was SUPER excited they signed in 2019. He’s a young, physical running back who didn’t have too many miles on him coming out of college, yet has just enough NFL experience to actually be the vet among a very young position group.
When Howard signed with the Dolphins during free agency, I was annoyed to lose what could have been a stable ground-and-pound rusher, who would have been a great complement to Miles Sanders — who could’ve and would’ve stayed the Eagles’ three-down back. Howard’s injury in 2019 and his inability to get back on the field sullied his potential in fans eyes, but he’s healthy and ready to get to work. He was a healthy scratch for the Dolphins several weeks before being waived by the team, which was a little surprising given his goal line production through the first few games of the 2020 season.
Do the Eagles need another running back? No. But, let’s take a look at how they’re using their 3 active backs on game days.
You’ve got Miles Sanders who had 6 carries for 15 yards and 2 catches for 7 yards on Monday night against the Seahawks. He’s the featured back for the team, but has only had a couple notable performances so far in 2020, and the Eagles’ offense has clearly struggled to commit to the run game.
Miles Sanders leads all NFL running backs in drops with 8 this season. #Eagles— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 1, 2020
When Sanders isn’t on the field, you’ve got Boston Scott, who has earned every single snap he gets and has often had more breakout plays than the starter. Scott should stay on the active game day roster, and keep being the spark that he’s been for the past year.
And then, there’s Corey Clement. Mostly used on special teams at this point, and occasionally getting offensive snaps on gimmick plays, the running back has struggled to stay healthy and struggled to find his niche on the roster. Clement is a feel good story going back to the team’s Super Bowl win, but he’s not really contributing to any sort of success.
So, yes, I’m calling for Jordan Howard to take Clement’s game day roster spot and at least see what happens. The Eagles are 3-7-1, what’s the worst that adding Howard can do?
Especially this week against Green Bay. Howard is more than a little familiar with the Packers, having faced them twice a year during his three seasons with the Bears, and having a critical role in the Eagles win at Lambeau Field last season. In the 2019 win, Howard had 15 carries for 87 yards in addition to 3 receptions for 28 yards — sure the yards aren’t that impressive, but he had 3 (!!!) touchdowns in that game, two on the ground and one TD catch.
Howard is also a stud on pass protection. If the Eagles aren’t going to commit to the run game, they should at least play a running back who can help the swiss cheese offensive line who through 11 games have allowed 46 (!!!) sacks. 46 SACKS. That’s insane.
Jordan Howard allowed 2 pressures on 92 pass blocking snaps this season, giving him the highest Pass Blocking Efficiency of any running back with at least 30 pass blocking snaps#Bears pic.twitter.com/P2zD7rU9wg— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) March 25, 2019
Seems like that could be helpful for this Eagles offense.
There’s not a whole lot going right for the offense at the moment, so shaking things up with a guy who knows the system, has a rapport with Carson Wentz, and could at the very least help keep the QB upright, wouldn’t be the worst decision this coaching staff could make.