Philadelphia Eagles are dealing with a major blow to one of the most important positions on the team, one that puts Mike Vick’s inured ribs on the back burner. It’s about LeSean McCoy’s broken rib and how he is the only running back on the team the Eagles have counted on all year. Granted it’s week 5 now, and the Birds are 2-2 mostly behind Vick’s abilities to shadow the rest of the issues with this team. But as something that was a growing concern for me and a lot of other people heading into the season, the Eagles are now faced with the harsh reality they are extremely thin at the running back position.
McCoy could be back this Sunday night in San Francisco, but his rib injury is one that will linger, especially enduring the physical punishment a running back takes in Reid’s offense. McCoy played the entire second half in the Eagles 17-12 loss to the Redskins, finishing with 174 total yards on 28 touches. He has been a major contributor in both wins and losses this year, and according to Andy Reid, McCoy offered no complaints about his broken rib. Yet it’s not even all about the injury, as much as it is about who is listed behind him.
Mike Bell came in this season as a change of pace back, hoping to show what he brought to the New Orleans Saints in their Super Bowl run last year. However after dealing with injuries through camp, he has been a major disappointment amassing just 20 yards on 12 carries in four weeks. In fact, the only other running back to have a carry besides Bell and McCoy is Leonard Weaver, out for the season. Sure the loss of Vick is devastating, especially what he brings to the ground game, but from what we saw from Kevin Kolb this past Sunday, he is a big fan of the McCoy in the passing game. Bell has caught one ball all year.
So besides a sluggish Mike Bell, there is newly acquired fullback Owen Schmitt who showed some signs of life but nothing over a stretch period. Beyond that it gets worse, there’s Eldra Buckley who fumbled the only time he touched the ball. Finally there’s the undrafted rookie out of Wayne State, Joique Bell, this Bell hasn’t even felt the ball at all this year.
If you think the Eagles struggled to run the ball with talent like Brian Westbrook and later LeSean McCoy, imagine how hard it will be now with a banged up McCoy and no Vick. Even if McCoy plays this Sunday night, there is still a major concern with the depth at running back. With Kevin Kolb getting the start at least for now, this offense will need anything they can get to take the pressure of him. Without a healthy McCoy that seems to be a long shot.