When the Philadelphia Eagles traded for Jay Ajayi this past offseason it was with the hopes that he could replace LeGarrette Blount as the team’s long-term starting running back. Ajayi looked poised to do just that after a strong start to the season, leading the team with nearly 1,200 yards on the ground while also adding some elusiveness to their passing game.
Unfortunately, that’s about where Ajayi’s career took a turn for the worse. Just four games into his first full season in midnight green, the former Boise State star tore his ACL and would only appear in three more contests before the Eagles released him. The injury cost him millions in potential earnings, and it also ended up killing his chance to secure the lucrative long-term contract extension that he seemed to deserve.
After rehabbing his knee, the 26-year-old decided to take a step back from football. Despite his desire to stay away, Ajayi was adamant that he wanted to play again and began working out regularly at his local gym. He was invited to work out for a few teams but was never offered any sort of deal and ultimately returned to the Eagles practice squad.
Now, with Jordan Howard limited in practice and Darren Sproles on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, Ajayi may get the opportunity to shine in the backfield for Philadelphia this weekend against the Seattle Seahawks. Doug Pederson would be smart to ease him into the game though and make sure that Ajayi isn’t rushed back into action just yet.