By Annie Ross
Has anyone seen Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood?
You remember him.
Drafted in the fifth round last April out of West Virginia.
Smallwood was set back by injury and then a concussion in a preseason he really needed. He’s been active for both regular season games, however, and got two offensive snaps against the Browns and then five against the Bears.
Of those five snaps, two were carries for 18 yards.
“They’re going to keep slowly and slowly working me in and I’m going to keep showing them that I can do what they want me to do,” Smallwood said this week. “And they’ll get more confidence in me as the season goes on.”
As the season goes on, Smallwood just might emerge as the Eagles’ featured back.
Ryan Mathews, whose problem has always been staying on the field, has a tender ankle after just two games. Darren Sproles is 34 years old and showed last Monday he’s not able to handle an every-down load. And Kenjon Barner is the perfect change-up to Smallwood if the Eagles decide to go with the two young backs.
“He’s in a good position right now,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said of Smallwood. “Wendell gives you that — he and Kenjon Barner both — give you that explosiveness that you want at tailback. And one thing Wendell has, too, is he’s got great hands and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.’
“Physically my body is finally starting to get back to where it should be,” he said. “It was real tough. Mostly from all the reps I missed and all the game reps I missed. I missed almost all the preseason. The regular season is kind of like my preseason. It’s not like I’m being thrown into the fire, but I kind of am.”