The Eagles haven’t given running back DeMarco Murray all that much to do during training camp and his light workload shifted to non-existent during Sunday’s preseason opener against the Colts.
Murray sat out the game as the Eagles continued to tread lightly with a player who had 497 touches by the time the Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs by the Packers. In an interview with Peter King of MMQB.com, coach Chip Kelly admitted that his approach to Murray this offseason has been fueled by concerns raised by the history of backs returning from a heavy workload in the previous season.
“I think there is a lot of validity to it,” Kelly said. “But how do you manage him going into a season? Our plan all along was to get another running back with him. I wanted to have two running backs, and that’s why we got Ryan [Mathews]. I don’t think you can have a guy carry it 370 to 400 times per season and be successful. We’re going to run it a lot — we always do — but we’ll have more than one guy doing it.”
Sussing out which back will get the lion’s share of the work from week to week will probably join fantasy football players up the wall, but the actual football results should be good for the Eagles as long as both backs stay healthy. That’s been a problem for both backs in the past, but splitting the load might prove to be the right thing on that front.