PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles are moving on from the worst-kept secret of their offseason Tuesday by releasing Ryan Mathews after the veteran running back was able to pass his physical.

Mathews has been recovering from neck surgery stemming from a herniated disc suffered against the New York Giants in Week 16 last season and the Eagles had already moved on by signing LeGarrette Blount to lead a stable of backs that also includes Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and rookie Donnel Pumphrey.

When Blount was able to get his preferred No. 29 away from safety Terrence Brooks earlier this week with the latter taking over Mathews' old number 24, it was just another indication that Mathews remained on the roster in name only.

The Fresno State product, who led the Eagles in rushing with 661 yards last season, was given permission to rehab away from the team in his home of San Diego throughout and the summer.

He was entering the final season of a three-year contract he signed with the Eagles in 2015 and was scheduled to make a base salary of $4 million so Philadelphia waited for him to be healthy enough to pass a physical in order to get maximum salary-cap relief this season.

"We want to thank Ryan for his contributions to the Philadelphia Eagles over the past two seasons," the team said in a statement. "We spoke today and had a productive conversation about his future and the direction of our team going forward.

"First and foremost, we are glad that Ryan is healthy and has been cleared to return to football activities, but given the current state of our running back position, we feel like it is best for both sides to go in a different direction. We wish him all the best as he continues his career.”

DAY 18 NOVACARE NOTES:

-The Eagles finished up the training-camp portion of the summer with a scaled-down 10/10/10 practice on a rainy Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex.

-On the injury front defensive tackle Fletcher Cox returned after missing two days with back spasms. Left tackle Jason Peters was excused for personal reasons, however, and without swing tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) available, Lane Johnson moved to the left side with the first-team while Matt Tobin handled work on the right side,

-Left tackle Jason Peters was excused for personal reasons and without swing tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) available, Lane Johnson moved to the left side with the first-team while Matt Tobin handled work on the right side,

-Backup quarterback Nick Foles was involved for the second consecutive day after missing significant time with elbow soreness while receiver AlshonJefferyy again worked in team drills for a second straight day. Doug Pederson was non-committal on both when it comes to playing time against Buffalo on Thursday and Foles has already indicated he will not play.

-Pederson claimed that both starting RG Brandon Brooks and RB Wendell Smallwood, who both returned to practice on Monday, will be game-day decisions against Buffalo.

-Kicker Caleb Sturgis was very effective today in the bad weather making all eight of his kicks from 30 yards back to 47 or 48.

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen