DeMarco Murray Phased Out of Offense vs. Cards
If Sunday's loss to the Cardinals is any indication, the Philadelphia Eagles' running back carousel may no longer include DeMarco Murray. Murray was held to two carries for three yards in Week 15 against the Cardinals, but that's not how Eagles coach Chip Kelly sees it.
"No. Again, it was a combination of we only had 19 rushes on the entire day," Kelly explained. "The plan was we were going to rotate the running backs. We didn't run the ball as much as we wanted to run the ball, but we rotated those three guys, we only played three tonight."
The Eagles finished with just 74 yards on the ground in Sunday's 40-17 loss to the Cardinals. Ryan Mathews led the tailbacks with 58 yards on 11 carries. He, Darren Sproles, who rushed six times for nine yards and Murray accounted for 93 yards total, with just three coming from Murray.
“To be honest, I’m not even sure how many times he carried the ball. Two? Yeah, I mean guess that is a little bit surprising but we have been rotating our backs for the past couple weeks and I think that’s just kind of been the plan," Kelly said about the lack of action for Murray.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly said he was hasn't been pleased with the entire offense, but wouldn't single out Murray's lack of production. While Murray didn't get his first carry until the third quarter, Kelly simply said that was the circumstances of the game.
"We were throwing the ball a little bit more," Kelly said. "A lot of it has to do with the front that we were going against and Sam was throwing the ball well but I think some of the things we did, game plan-wise, also lend itself to that also."
Murray, whose rocky season started with nine yards on eight carries in the opener in Atlanta, followed by just yards on 13 carries in week two against Dallas, has been a major disappointment this season, Kelly was asked why sign Murray if they were going to use him in such a limited fashion.
"We don't have any thoughts or plans going into it," Kelly acknowledged. "This is just how this season has expressed itself. We would have hoped we had carries to go around with everybody. We would love to have 35 carries that we can distribute between our backs."
But Kelly said Murray has handled the lack of playing time with class.
"He has been good," Kelly stated. "He has been good when we've been in meetings and when we're on the practice field when we're around him."
With Murray is owed $9 million guaranteed next year, one has to envision Murray wearing an Eagles uniform again in 2016.