The clock started counting down from the moment Jay Ajayi was traded to Philadelphia.
Five days until kickoff.
The Eagles' new running back will have three days of practice and a Saturday walkthrough before the Birds host the Broncos at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Will Ajayi play?
Well, head coach Doug Pederson wouldn't say Wednesday. But it seems quite possible that Ajayi might have at least a limited role depending on how the week of practice goes.
"It all depends on how well he does pick it up," Pederson said. "And listen, you can't just throw everything at him right away. He's got to sort of push Miami's offense out one side and embrace ours. It's harder to do than easier. We've just got to spend some extra time with him and do the best we can to get him at least a few plays that he's comfortable with."
If Ajayi does play Sunday, he'll face the second-best rush defense in the NFL (after the Eagles). Denver has given up just 72.9 yards per game on the ground this season.
Pederson said there will likely be some carryover from the Dolphins to the Eagles, but the terminology and even the way the Eagles teach footwork might be different. Pederson said they'll need to spend extra time with Ajayi to get him comfortable.
Carson Wentz said it'll be on the coaching staff and players to help Ajayi catch up. From there, he and his new running back will need to work on forging chemistry.
"That stuff sometimes takes time," Wentz said. "It takes a lot of communication. It might be watching film and showing him some looks and some different things. I think with Duce (Staley) as his running backs coach, Duce does such a great job with all the running backs, I think he'll get him up to speed really quick. We'll just have to get through that."
Once Ajayi is comfortable and has the offense down, it would stand to reason that his role in the offense will increase. On Wednesday, Pederson sidestepped questions about the roles of the running backs once that happens. He simply said the running backs have strengths and the Eagles want to gear their offense to utilize them. Eventually, though, Ajayi will have a bigger role in the offense and there are only so many snaps and carries to go around.
"This guy's a tough, powerful runner and he's got great vision," Pederson said of Ajayi. "He's got a great first step, quick back inside behind tackles and guards. One guy doesn't necessarily bring him down all the time. You have to go back a little bit to really watch him run routes and see that he's very capable of being a route runner out of the backfield and brings a really aggressive run demeanor to our offense."
After the game Sunday, the Eagles have a bye week, which should allow Ajayi to spend some extra time learning his new playbook.
"It's hard," Pederson said. "All he's known is Miami and we've got to get that out."