Eagles talk: Wendell Smallwood needs to get more opportunities

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Carson Wentz /

It was a slow week one for Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood.

The Philadelphia Eagles may have come away with the victory on Sunday against the Washington Redskins, but that doesn’t mean that everything was perfect. Obviously, the defense’s effort overshadowed that of the offense, but some of the guys on offense made their fair share of contributions. One thing’s for sure, and that’s the fact that the Eagles seemed to neglect the running game at times.

Quarterback Carson Wentz was one pass shy of 40 attempts. Eagles second-year running back Wendell Smallwood saw a limited workload, and that needs to change this week. Believe it or not, Smallwood was only involved in 22 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps, and he ended the day with four carries for a total of four yards.

The former fifth-round pick may be having flashbacks of last season where he was barely utilized. His production numbers are quite shocking considering his impressive preseason debut against the Miami Dolphins. Smallwood looked like the most-complete runner in our backfield just a couple weeks back. Fast forward to the regular season, and he has turned into an afterthought.

Something needs to change…

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We were all well aware that Eagles head coach Doug Pederson leans heavily on the passing game. On Sunday, Carson Wentz‘s 39 passing attempts trumped all of his running backs’ combined 20 rushing attempts. Unfortunately, Smallwood’s average of one yard-per-carry may hurt the chances of him getting more carries in the future.

Smallwood may be the third running back on the depth chart, but he needs to have more of a role in the offense. The Eagles like to rotate their ball carriers often, but each back has a different running style. LeGarrette Blount is looked to be the downhill, power back who is used to pick up a few yards on first and third down.

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Darren Sproles has been used in a receiving role more often than not over the last couple of years. That leaves Smallwood as the odd man out. He may not have had the most impressive rookie season last year, but there should be no reason why he doesn’t get more involved this year. He’s bigger than Sproles, and he’s faster than Blount. If the Eagles plan to utilize the run game a little bit more this week, then Smallwood should definitely see a significant amount of carries.