Mathews Remains with Eagles for Now
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The waiting game continues when it comes to injured running back Ryan Mathews and his future with the Philadelphia Eagles.
With rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans rehabbing from injuries reporting to the NovaCare Complex for training camp on Sunday, Mathews was among them, an NFL source told 973espn.com.
According to the Philadelphia Daily News' Les Bowen, Mathews is likely to remain on the roster into August despite career threatening neck fusion surgery.
Mathews' 2016 season, in which he led the Eagles with 662 rushing yards on 155 carries, ended on Dec. 23 against the New York Giants when he suffered the neck injury. The August date has to do with the next recommendation by Mathews' surgeon.
No matter the diagnosis, however, Mathews is no longer in the Eagles' plans at the position after the team signed free agent LeGarrette Blount to be its RB1 and drafted Donnel Pumphrey. Philadelphia is simply waiting for Mathews to pass a physical before releasing the former first-round pick.
It's a procedural situation tied to the salary cap. Releasing Mathews while injured would cost the Eagles more than $1 million in cap space which may not seem like a lot but entering camp the Eagles have just $6,742,095 available to them, according to the latest NFLPA numbers. Only the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions have less money under the cap than Philadelphia so every dollar counts.
If Mathews is unable to pass a physical he will eventually be put on injured reserve and the Eagles will try to work out an injury settlement with him.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen