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Eagles' free agent running back Jay Ajayi starts lining up visits

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Eagles' free agent running back Jay Ajayi starts lining up visits

Free agent running back Jay Ajayi, limited to just four games last year after suffering a Week 4 torn ACL against the Vikings, has a visit scheduled for next week with the Colts, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Colts head coach Frank Reich was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2017, when the Eagles acquired Ajayi from the Dolphins midway through the season on their way to the Super Bowl championship.

Ajayi ran for 408 yards with a 5.8 average in seven games with the Eagles in 2017 and added another 184 yards and a 4.4 average in the postseason. This past year, he averaged 4.1 yards on just 45 carries before getting hurt. 

The Colts appear to be in good shape at running back, with Marlon Mack, who gained 908 yards with nine TDs and a 4.7 average last year in his second season; Jordan Wilkins, who averaged 5.6 yards on 60 carries last year as a rookie, and Nyheim Hines, who had 314 yards rushing and 63 receptions last year, also as a rookie.

Ajayi is only 25 but has dealt with injuries throughout his career and has played just 42 of a possible 64 games in his four NFL seasons. 

There is no denying Ajayi’s talent — his 4.5 career rushing average is tied for eighth-highest in the NFL among active running backs with at least 500 carries. But lingering questions about his health and the long-term prognosis of his knees are a concern.

The Eagles have only Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, Donnel Pumphrey and Boston Scott currently on the roster at running back.

So far, there's been no indication that they're interested in retaining Ajayi, although it's possible they are waiting to see what his value is on the open market before making an offer.

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Derrick Gunn's predictions for divisional round of NFL playoffs

Derrick Gunn's predictions for divisional round of NFL playoffs

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn gives his predictions for the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

Colts at Chiefs (Saturday, 4:35 p.m., NBC)
In 2017, Andrew Luck was nursing a shoulder injury that cost him the entire season. This season, under first-year head coach Frank Reich, Luck and the Colts are in the thick of the playoffs. A team that started 1-5 won nine of its last 10 to get to the postseason. Indy dismantled its rivals, the Houston Texans, for a showdown with the high-scoring Chiefs.

Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes is favored to win the MVP award and he gets his first taste of the postseason in front of a raucous home crowd. This is Andy Reid's 14th playoff season, but the second season hasn’t been kind to him. He’s 11-13 in the playoffs with one Super Bowl appearance but has never won it all.

The Colts' underrated fast defense could be shorthanded in the secondary. Safety Malik Hooker (foot) and safety Mike Mitchell (calf) may sit this one out. It's been a great season for Luck and the Colts, but their luck runs out at Arrowhead Stadium.

Cowboys at Rams (Saturday, 8:15 p.m., FOX)
Which team establishes its ground game the best could determine the outcome of this one. Ezekiel Elliott finished No. 1 in the league in rushing. Todd Gurley was No. 3.

The Cowboys' defense continues to get better each week and will be a good test for the Rams' lethal offense that features a pair of 1,200-yard receivers in Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks.

The 'Boys' passing attack is hurting. Losing WR Allen Hurns to a dislocated ankle is a big blow, and WR Cole Beasley is nursing a high ankle sprain. During the regular season, the Cowboys' defense suffocated the Saints' offense and will need a similar performance this weekend to have a chance in Los Angeles.

Should be an entertaining affair, but the Rams will send the Cowboys riding off into the night with a loss. 

Chargers at Patriots (Sunday, 1:05 p.m., CBS)
Before you say the Patriots got this one, consider this. The Chargers are 8-1 on the road. During the regular season, they won road wars at Seattle, Pittsburgh and Kansas City. They lost at home to Baltimore, then two weeks later traveled East and got their revenge by knocking the Ravens out of the playoffs.

The Chargers, thin at linebacker, could play up to seven DBs at any given time and it works for them. TE Hunter Henry, who tore his right ACL back in May, has been activated and, if he plays, gives Philip Rivers another valuable target to throw to.

Nobody prepares for big games better than Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Patriots' track record speaks for itself. Sixteen straight double-digit winning seasons and they’ve won the AFC East 10 years in a row. New England is almost unbeatable at home, but I’m going with a hunch and going to take old man Rivers and the Chargers in a road upset.

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Derrick Gunn's predictions for NFL playoffs wild-card round

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Derrick Gunn's predictions for NFL playoffs wild-card round

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn gives predictions for the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs.

Colts at Texans (Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ESPN/ABC)
This is Round 3 between these two AFC South foes. In the regular season, both won by three points on the other's turf. Andrew Luck and DeShaun Watson are different styles of QBs but both are effective at what they do. Watson was sacked 62 times this season.

DeAndre Hopkins and T.Y. Hilton can blow the top off of a defense. The Colts have the 11th-ranked defense, while the Texans possess the 12th-ranked D. Frank Reich has done an incredible job in his first year in Indy. This one is so close to call, I had to throw a dart at a dartboard. Looks like I'm giving the Texans a slight edge.

Seahawks at Cowboys (Saturday, 8:15 p.m., FOX)
Both teams played some of the best football down the stretch. Seattle won six of its last seven and Dallas won seven of its last eight. Not many expected the 'Hawks to be a serious playoff contender, considering the volume of talent they lost since last season.

But kudos to Pete Carroll and his coaching staff for holding it together and getting their guys to believe in themselves. The Seahawks have the top-ranked rushing offense (160.0 yards per game). The Cowboys want to feed Ezekiel Elliott the rock to take the pressure off of Dak Prescott. Seattle beat the Cowboys at home in Week 3. Russell Wilson has won many big games in his career. Prescott has not. Dallas will be one and done.

Chargers at Ravens (Sunday, 1:05 p.m., CBS)
Baltimore's top-ranked defense has frustrated many opponents this season, including the Chargers. The Ravens held Los Angeles to a season-low 10 points in Week 16.

Philip Rivers and company have to figure out a way to keep the Ravens on their heels. Lamar Jackson has added a jolt to the Ravens' offense. The Ravens, who are second in the league in rushing, ran for 159 yards against the Chargers.

Game time temperature in Baltimore is expected to be 53 degrees, but the Chargers will get a cold reception and the Ravens will put them in a deep freeze.

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