In a surprise move on Monday evening, the Eagles placed starting running back Jay Ajayi on Injured Reserve. He’s done for the year.
Ajayi was actually placed on IR with a knee injury, according to the Eagles, not the fracture in his back that he had been playing with for a couple weeks.
NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Derrick Gunn confirmed that Ajayi tore his ACL and is finished for the season.
The Eagles were counting on Ajayi to be their feature back this season and Ajayi, who entered the season in the final year of his contract, was hoping to have a big year and cash in with a contract. It looks like neither are happening.
This is a brutal blow for Ajayi, who already had chronic knee problems that were likely going to limit his potential earning in his next contract. Ajayi hadn’t been shy about the fact that he had a lot personally riding on this season. It might have been his only shot to really make serious money as a professional football player. That chance might be completely gone now.
#Eagles RB Jay Ajayi will have surgery to repair his torn ACL on Thursday, source said. The belief is it’s just that ligament. It occurred in pass-protection during the game and he played through it.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 8, 2018
That means Ajayi this season played through a fractured back and a torn ACL. He's some kind of tough.
Ajayi had just 184 yards on 45 carries in four games this season. The 25-year-old had just 29 yards on eight carries in the loss to the Vikings and after the game publicly questioned the lack of running plays called by the coaching staff.
He also had a crucial fumble at the Minnesota 5-yard line on the first drive of the third quarter. After the game, Ajayi took ownership for that huge blunder.
“Yeah, I can’t do that,” Ajayi said. “I pride myself on being elite. I want to be elite.”
Without Ajayi, the Eagles are left with a noticeable void at running back. Corey Clement is close to returning from a quad injury, but even then, they’ll be down to Clement, Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams until Darren Sproles returns from his hamstring injury.
The Eagles were able to acquire Ajayi for a fourth-round pick in late October last year, so maybe Howie Roseman will be able to work some more magic this year and bring in a different running back to fill the void.
To fill Ajayi’s roster spot, the Eagles claimed defensive tackle T.Y. McGill, who has played in 28 career games dating back to 2015.
Here’s an updated list of the Eagles’ players on IR: