Eagles’ Injury Report: Pumphrey to IR
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Donnel Pumphrey's rookie season could be over after the undersized running back was placed on injured reserve Friday afternoon.
The fourth-round pick, who was fifth on the depth chart behind LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and undrafted rookie Corey Clement, suffered a torn hamstring in proactive on Wednesday.
Pumphrey explained to reporters after practice Friday that it's a four-to-six week injury meaning he could be activated and put back on the 53-man roster after an eight-week waiting period.
Teams can only return two players from the IR list during the season and kicker Caleb Sturgis is also a candidate to return after being placed on IR earlier this week with a torn hip flexor. Sturgis' future is likely tied to how strong-legged rookie Jake Elliott performs in his absence.
"This place Arrowhead, the winds obviously can be, they can swirl around in this place," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said when discussing Elliott. "I just have to trust my gut and trust my instinct and trust the players. I've said that all along. I can't go in here second-guessing myself or a decision. I have to pull the trigger. If I feel like we're going to kick a field goal, then we'll kick it. It's not going to change my decision-making one way or the other."
The issue with Pumphrey is he was kept on the roster for potential not performance after a dismal preseason in which he managed just 49 rushing yards on 26 carries, less than 2.0 yards-per-carry. On one hand, he needs practice time to develop and of left on IR for the full season, he would be unable to participate. Conversely, working on the scout team while the Eagles are in regular-season mode may not be all that helpful anyway.
"Well, it'll set him back because he won't be able to run and do all the things that we want him to do," coach Doug Pederson admitted. "It's unfortunate. We know it's part of the game but we'll keep him plugged in, in the meeting rooms and around the team and keep him plugged in that way."
Pumphrey is one of three Eagles ruled out for Sunday's game in Kansas City, along with cornerback Ronald Darby (dislocated ankle) and backup defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao (wrist). Reserve safety Corey Graham is questionable with a hamstring injury.
Jaylen Watkins will likely start at CB on the outside opposite Jalen Mills with Patrick Robinson staying in the slot while rookie third-round pick Rasul Douglas will likely be active for the first time in his career. The same holds true for sixth-round defensive tackle Elijah Qualls, who could replace Vaeao in Jim Schwartz's D-Line rotation.
"There's a chance," Pederson said about Vaeao's possibly playing. "We've worked him this week in practice. He definitely has an opportunity to play in this game, sure."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen