Philadelphia Eagles RB Jordan Howard speaks on mortality, opportunities
It was a committee system, the likes of which Philadelphia Eagles fans haven’t seen as often. Perhaps we were spoiled by having Duce Staley, Correll Buckhalter, and Brian Westbrook at the same time. Having LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement (when he was healthy), and Jay Ajayi wasn’t a bad time either.
Still, it was that one-two punch that featured Miles Sanders, then a rookie, and Jordan Howard that really seemed as though it could be something special. If you’ll remember, in those days, Howard was the starter and Boobie was the change of pace, but it was a 2019 week-nine injury versus his former team, the Chicago Bears, that kept sending Doug Pederson to the podium with his familiar rundown of the week’s injuries.
“Jordan Howard has an upper-body injury, and he’s day-to-day”. Well, “day-to-day” went on for two months. Howard missed Philly’s next six games with a stinger, but here’s what’s been most disappointing about the whole ordeal. He’s never been the same since.
Here’s some revisionist history if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan.
Following Howard’s long absence, he returned to the field for Philly’s season finale versus the New York Giants on December 29th of 2019, but despite the fact that Miles Sanders had limped off the field earlier that night, Howard was only on the field for one offensive play. His number was never called.
Since then, Howard was allowed to test the free-agent market and signed a two-year deal with the Miami Dolphins on March 21st of 2020. He appeared in five games with three starts and toted the rock 28 times for 33 yards. It appeared that a once-promising tailback had aged rapidly.
Hey, there’s no shame there. We’re talking about the most-punished position in football. Playing tailback has made a lot of guys look very old very quickly.
Miami waived Howard on November 16th of last year, and the Birds added him to their practice squad seven days later. He was elevated to the active roster for two games (weeks 13 and 16) but was only able to muster 27 yards on seven carries.
Howard’s contract expired in January, and as all Birds fans know, he returned via a one-year deal on April 7th. The reaction’s been mixed, but it would be interesting to know what he’s been thinking and feeling. On April’s second Tuesday, Philadelphia Eagles fans got an opportunity to hear a few answers.
The Philadelphia Eagles running back opens up to the media.
Eagles twitter dropped a few clips of Howard returning to the NovaCare Complex before he met with the Philly media later that afternoon. He discussed his own thoughts of football mortality as he stated that injuries forced him to miss time, but he still has “a lot left in the tank”.
If you’re still not convinced of what he can give the Eagles at this stage of the game, perhaps his words will ease the tension. Here’s more of what he had to say on the running back position, and how it seems to be seen as a disposable position these days.
"I think it’s just because the game is more of a passing league, it just feels like running backs are disposable… (Teams) feel that they can get a running back wherever, any round, or undrafted. I really feel like we’re (considered) disposable, but I feel like running backs can do a lot of different things. We still have a lot of value to teams… (We) really just got to keep fighting that stigma. I would never want to change being a running back. I love being a running back. Even though it’s not the fancy position it used to be. I just love it."
As a Birds fan, you have to hope that he can recapture some of that magic that we all saw in 2019 when he racked up 552 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns, 69 yards on ten receptions, and a receiving touchdown before the world’s nastiest ‘stinger’ put him down for the count.
Keep those fingers crossed if you’re an Eagles fan. This is one of those veteran signings that they need to work, especially seeing as how those veteran signings of former players don’t work out that much anymore.