Eagles Place Ryan Mathews On Active/NFI list

The Eagles also signed rookie receiver David Watford to put the roster back at 90 players.

Ryan Mathews. (Jeff Fusco)

Ryan Mathews. (Jeff Fusco)

Ryan Mathews has been placed on the Active/NFI list with an ankle injury suffered last week. Mathews, whose injury wasn’t noticeable as he walked by reporters today when he reported for training camp, is expected to receive the bulk of the carries this season in the Eagles’ new offense.

After Mathews, the depth chart at running back is very unclear. Darren Sproles does the most damage as a punt returner and receiver out of the backfield on offense, and he’s now 33-years-old. Kenjon Barner has only 34 career carries, although Wendell Smallwood has continued to impress Doug Pederson this summer.

“I was excited when we drafted him. I was excited during rookie camp when we had him in here, the entire offseason program, and he came back ready to go in a great frame of mind,” Pederson said today after practice. “He’s going to put himself in a position, I’m hoping, to help us this season. I think he’s that good.

“Excellent route runner, good hands, patient runner, and I love the fact that he’s kind of a one-cut, no-nonsense type guy. He’s a downhill guy but fast enough to separate and create some long runs. So I’m excited, again, once we start getting into pads, protection, how well can he protect? A lot of backs in college that come to this level, that’s something that they’ve got to learn extremely fast.”

After releasing linebacker Travis Long this morning, the Eagles also signed rookie receiver David Watford to put the roster back at 90 players. Watford, who was a quarterback at Hampton University, participated in the team’s rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.

The only veteran who didn’t report to training camp today was Jon Dorenbos, who was excused and will rejoin the team on Thursday. The Eagles’ long snapper has been performing magic tricks on America’s Got Talent to advance through the television competition.