Former University of Washington player Chris Polk had his anxious moments, but it turned out that the Eagles had room for two rookie running backs after all.
For more than a month, there seemed to be a competition for the Eagles’ third running back spot. But by the time the roster was trimmed to 53 on Friday night, both Polk and Bryce Brown, a seventh-round draft pick out of Kansas State, still had jobs — and there were four running backs on the roster.
The Eagles elected to keep both rookies, placing them on the depth chart behind LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis.
McCoy is the primary rusher for the Eagles, swallowing so many snaps as the top running back that even the No. 2 back in Philadelphia is not used the way he would be in other offenses. Still, the Eagles were not willing to part with either Brown or Polk.
“For us, once you get past, really, 40 (players), we’re trying to get the best guys that can come on our team and maybe last for a long period of time as we try to build it,” general manager Howie Roseman said. “Chris just did everything that (he) was asked for to make this football team.”
Polk was an undrafted rusher out of Washington who was productive in college, although beset by a shoulder injury that seemingly clouded his NFL prospects.
But in Roseman’s eyes Polk made a positive play in camp “every time he touched the ball,” showing a seasoned repertoire that includes a hard running style, blocking skills, and good hands out of the backfield.
Polk ran for 1,488 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior for the Huskies last season and would have been a valuable draft pick if not for whispers of a degenerative shoulder condition. He did not miss a single practice all summer, and there was never an issue with his shoulder during camp.
“I had my shoulder injury three years ago, and I never missed a practice in college or a game,” Polk said. “I didn’t really think it’s an issue. I’m not holding it against (other teams). They’ve been doing this longer than I’ve been born, so who am I to say. … Thank God I haven’t had any shoulder pains. But even if it does hurt, I’m still going to play.”
MJD ENDS HOLDOUT
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew ended his 38-day holdout — without a new contract. He had no apologies, no regrets and no concerns about his standing with the franchise.
Jones-Drew wanted to renegotiate the final two years of a five-year, $31 million deal that paid him nearly $22 million the past three seasons. Owner Shad Khan and general manager Gene Smith refused, not wanting to set a precedent of paying players in the middle of lucrative deals.
The NFL referees union says the league is “engaged in a misinformation campaign” following unsuccessful negotiations earlier in the weekend.… Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (foot) and linebacker Jon Beason (hamstring) are expected to play in the Sept. 9 regular season opener against Tampa Bay after missing preseason games with injuries.