Philadelphia Eagles rookie Jason Huntley has to play in Week 17

Jason Huntley #32, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jason Huntley #32, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Will Philadelphia Eagles running back Jason Huntley play more in Week 17?

Things are going as planned, for some of you anyway. The Philadelphia Eagles are one step closer to securing a top-five draft pick. Nine Birds have been ruled out for Sunday Night’s game against the Washington Football Team. That includes starting running back Miles Sanders. Despite the fact that most fans want a better draft pick, it’s always fun to watch Sanders play. It’s better not to risk anything with their star running back in a meaningless Week 17 game though.

That leaves Philly, at the time of this story being published, with three tailbacks on the active roster: Boston Scott, Corey Clement, and Jason Huntley. Jordan Howard, Elijah Holyfield, and Adrian Killins are on the practice squad.

The Birds already know what they have in Scott. He’s a good change-of-pace back who can make some plays in the clutch, especially if the opponent is the New York Giants. Corey Clement doesn’t look the same. He might never return to his 2017 form. It looks like he has lost a step due to all of the injuries. Eagles fans have seen enough of him in pass protection, and it was torture to watch him this year.

What do the Philadelphia Eagles have in Jason Huntley?

No one knows what Jason Huntley can do. He’s played 11 offensive snaps and ten special teams snaps. He’s carried the ball three times for 14 yards. He also has two kick returns for 36 yards on his resume. The five-foot-nine tailback was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round last April. They tried to sneak him through waivers, but the Eagles took notice and picked him up. Fans have barely seen him touch the field though, and Eagles head coach Doug Pederson needs to change that on Sunday.

It’s time to see why he’s occupying a roster spot and has done so for the last 17 weeks. At his Pro Day, he ran a 4.37 40-yard dash. He was explosive at New Mexico State with a 7.1 yards-per-carry in his senior season. During his four-year collegiate career, he collected 2,197 yards on the ground and picked up another 1,119 yards through the air. Oh, and he scored 21 touchdowns in his last 24 games. This kid can fly.

Huntley is just 22-years-old. If the Eagles make him part of the gameplan this week, he’ll take advantage of the opportunity. While Boston Scott is a fan favorite, Huntley might have more potential.

Philly needs to give him a decent workload and get him into the open field. There isn’t much of a point in wasting a ton of reps on Scott, Clement, or Howard. If Huntley gets some burn in this game, Philly will get a glimpse of what they have in the rookie. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to elevate Holyfield and give him a lot of reps as well.

The Eagles could possibly have the next Nyheim Hines on their hands. Hines is five-foot-nine (just like Huntley), and he ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash. Huntley ran a 4.37. Hines weighs in at 196 pounds while Huntley weighs in at 193 pounds.

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The Indianapolis Colts struck gold with Hines in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s become a key part of that offense as a change of pace back picking up first downs as a runner and receiver. There’s only one way for the Eagles to find out if Huntley can do the same. He has to be given an opportunity. If they don’t, they could regret it like they did when they let both Dion Lewis and Raheem Mostert find new homes.