The 'biggest thing' for Eagles' Donnel Pumphrey is coming soon
Donnel Pumphrey waited a year for the preseason opener.
Then two days before it? He hobbled off the practice field with a hamstring injury. Another hamstring injury.
Pumphrey will have to wait one more week to show what he can do.
Pumphrey, who hasn’t practiced since Aug. 7, said Tuesday he’s finally 100 percent, but coach Doug Pederson is still holding him out vs. the Browns Thursday night.
He does plan on being back on the practice field this weekend, once the Eagles return from Cleveland.
“I feel 100 percent,” he said. “It’s just [unfortunate] that it happened just before the first preseason game because that’s where I really wanted to showcase myself.
“Practicing for 2½ weeks you want to play against someone else, that’s what was so frustrating for me. Waiting the whole year to compete against someone else.”
Pumphrey didn’t play as a rookie last year, technically because of another hamstring injury but in reality because he had a dreadful preseason.
He was enjoying a much more impressive training camp this summer when he got hurt.
While he’s been out, none of the other backs competing for the fourth running back spot have done anything to take ownership of a roster spot. So conceivably, a strong performance a week from Thursday against the Jets could give Pumphrey a chance at a spot on the 53.
But he knows he’s running out of chances.
“Whether it’s playing here or somewhere else, that’s the biggest thing — have to put something on tape,” he said.
“I can’t really go out there and do [more than I can do]. Just play like myself and do what got me here to this point and I’ll be fine.”
Pumphrey, the all-time NCAA rushing record holder while at San Diego State, said he’s been running for about a week now without any discomfort.
“I’m really just focused on what I can control, which is rehab and getting back to my normal self,” he said.
“The goal was to push for the third game, but they don’t want me to play this week and risk it, so just doing what I can do.”
Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams and Matt Jones are all expected to play against the Browns, so there’s a chance Pumphrey will fall even further behind Thursday night while he watches from the sideline.
But he said he's only concerned with himself and being at his best for the Jets game.
“I just gotta put something on tape,” he said. “If I don’t make the team, I still have to be healthy, still have to have something on tape for another team to pick me up.
“Obviously, I want to be part of the Philadelphia Eagles. But I can’t control what I can’t control.”