Polk Thought He Was a Goner

When Chris Polk saw the number on his phone, he figured his time in Philadelphia was up.

The Eagles running back sat around and waited Friday. He couldn’t eat. He couldn’t sleep. He made sure he had his ringer on loud.

About 16 hours earlier, Polk was in the end zone, celebrating a 3-yard touchdown in the Eagles’ final preseason game against the Jets. Now, he was waiting to find out if it was time to turn in his playbook.

“It didn’t ring until Coach Duce [Staley] called me from his office phone, which I didn’t have stored,” Polk said. “It’s a 2-1-5 number, so I was like ‘Oh man, I’m cut.’ I waited until the last ring to actually answer it.”

The two exchanged greetings, but Polk didn’t sound right, and Staley could tell. He asked him what was wrong.

“I’m like ‘You’re about to cut me, huh?’” Polk said. “He’s like ‘No, man, I just called to tell you good job and congratulations.’”

A weight was lifted off his shoulders – momentarily. But because of something his teammate, Cedric Thornton told him, Polk wasn’t ready to celebrate just yet. Last year, Thornton initially made the 53-man roster, but was cut the next day when the team added offensive lineman Kyle DeVan.

So Polk attended the team barbecue, but he waited until the 9 p.m. deadline passed to call his mom. That’s when everything started to sink in.

For now, he’s behind LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis and Bryce Brown on the depth chart, but Polk’s best chance to contribute as a rookie might be special teams.

“Before you can lead, you have to follow,” he said. “In having those great running backs in front of me, to also go along with great coaches, I have all the information in front of me. All you have to do is just ask questions and pay attention.”

And, of course, answer the phone.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.