Rookie Josh Adams may have edge in battle for Eagles' 4th running back spot


Josh Adams has been learning as much as he can from Wendell Smallwood, Donnel Pumphrey and Matt Jones.

Now it looks like he may put them all out of work.

Doug Pederson said Adams, the undrafted rookie from Notre Dame, will get a good long look Thursday night against the Jets when the Eagles finish the preseason at the Linc. 

Adams has been impressive this summer, averaging a beefy 6.3 yards per carry. But that’s with just 10 carries — 6 for 30 against the Steelers and 4 for 33 against the Browns. 

He also has four catches though for only 10 yards.

There’s a growing sense that if the Eagles try to sneak him through waivers onto the practice squad, he’ll get claimed.

Which means barring disaster Thursday night, he has a fair chance to stick on the 53-man roster, which the Eagles must finalize by 4 p.m. Saturday.

“I’m having a lot of fun,” Adams said. “I’m blessed to be here. Something about working and being able to perfect your craft, especially at this level where you have so many guys around you and they’re the best of the best. 

“It’s definitely a blessing to learn from these guys and also compete with them and try to add a little something to it as well. Having a lot of fun doing that and just trying to grow each and every day.

“Learned a lot from everybody in the room. It’s just great to have guys like that around you so you can better your game.”

Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles and Corey Clement have the team made and won’t play against the Jets.

That leaves Jones, Pumphrey, Smallwood and Adams.

It’s a good sign that Pederson singled out Adams when asked who he’s looking forward to seeing Thursday night.

“[A back who] hasn't gotten a lot of touches in ballgames is Josh Adams, as a runner, so want to maybe get him involved in this game a little bit early and see what he can do,” Pederson said. “He's another bright spot, young player that's made an impact.”

Why keep Adams over, say, Smallwood?

He’s a little cheaper, a little younger and has more upside. The Eagles know what Smallwood can do, and he’ll probably find a job somewhere at some point if the Eagles do release him.

Adams is a slashing runner, a willing blocker and could be a stud one day.

“It’s another opportunity for me to go out there and show what I can do,” Adams said. “Just like every other preseason game. You don’t know how many opportunities you might get, so just take care of the one you have at that moment and that’s my mindset."

Any NFL team could have drafted Adams in April. 

Now he’s on the brink of proving every one of them wrong.  

“I don’t think about anything like that,” he said. “I’m always motivated every day I wake up. I got a lot of stuff pushing me, a lot of people supporting me, and that drives me to be the best that I can. 

“All the rest of it will take care of itself. I’m just blessed to be able to play a sport, to be in this position that not many people get to make it to. So every morning I just try to do my best and not worry about anything else.

“Whenever my opportunity comes, wherever that may be, whether it’s on special teams or offense, try to do my best. You never know when your last one might come, so just take advantage of the one you have now and the rest will take are of itself.”

Just a hunch: His last one isn’t going to come for quite a while.

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