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Donnel Pumphrey on Wrong Side of the Roster Bubble

Updated: Apr 10, 2019

Skill position players naturally draw the most attention when they are drafted.

So when Pumphrey, an agile and explosive running back out of San Diego State, was drafted in the 4th-round of the 2017 Draft, Eagles' fans took immediate notice. Amassing 2,133 rushing yards at 6.1 yards per carry and 17 touchdowns in his final year at school, Pumphrey became the official all-time rushing yards leader in NCAA Division I FBS history.

Fresh off a 2016 campaign in which Darren Sproles had cemented himself as an integral component of the Eagles' offensive machine, Philadelphia was ready for another elusive, undersized back to compliment their rushing attack.

Those expectations have not yet been met, nor have his collegiate numbers translated to the pros. Now, the second-year Pumphrey is reportedly already in danger of missing the 53-man roster.

Initially earning praise for his performance in the 2017 training camp, Pumphrey struggled mightily when the pads came on. After a dismal preseason performance and being named a healthy scratch for week 1, Pumphrey was stashed on IR with a torn hamstring for the season.

Now it's looking like much of the same, if not worse, for the former college star.

Pumphrey did not play in the Eagles' preseason opener against the Steelers, reportedly missing the game due to an injury. That rumor has since been confirmed:

Pumphrey missed Saturday's practice with a lower-body injury and it is uncertain when he will return. The young back was reportedly having a terrific training camp before the injury, making his latest setback all the more disappointing.

With a stacked running back corps comprised of Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles and Corey Clement, Pumphrey is competing for the fourth roster spot with Wendell Smallwood, undrafted rookie free agent Josh Adams, and Matt Jones.

Every practice and preseason game that Pumphrey misses is another blow to his chances of making the final roster. It won't be surprising to see him miss the final cut unless he can get back on the field, and start meeting those 2017 expectations.

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