DeMarco Murray led the league in rushing last year with the Cowboys. But this year, despite signing a 5-year, $40 million contract with the Eagles, Murray can't even get on the field.
During Sunday night's 40-17 loss to the Cardinals, Murray managed just two carries for 3 yards, and was left on the sideline during a critical fourth and 1 with the Eagles down by 7 late in the first half.. Over the last three games, Murray has rushed only 21 times, a far cry from the nearly 400 attempts he received last season.
It's apparent to fans and experts alike that Murray, who hasn't seemed like the right fit for Chip Kelly's offense since Week 1, has been demoted to the bottom of the depth chart. But so far, Kelly has been unwilling to admit that's the case.
Appearing Monday on the "WIP Morning Show," Kelly said he gave Mathews the ball in the short-yardage situation, a rare place Murray has thrived this season, because the 230-pounder is the team's biggest running back.
"We're just rotating our backs like we have for the last couple of games," Kelly told Angelo Cataldi. "That was the rotation that we worked on during the week at practice.… We got Ryan [Mathews] back after missing part of the Miami game, and then the Tampa Bay and Detroit game. That's the way we practiced during the week."
Kelly noted that in the second half, the Eagles quickly found themselves down to the Cardinals and threw the football more than they had planned.
"We'd like to run the ball a little bit more and be a little more balanced, but that's just how the game expressed itself," Kelly said.
Fresh from delivering pies to the NovaCare Center, an amiable Cataldi didn't seem inclined to press Kelly too hard after the loss, but did ask about Murray's demeanor on the sideline.
"How would you be able to rotate him if he's sitting on the sideline with a ski cap on?" Cataldi asked.
"I mean, it's very easy to say, 'You're in the game, put your helmet on,'" Kelly responded after a long pause.
For his part, Murray explained his attire to Jeff McLane after the game.
"It was a little chilly out," Murray said.
Listen to the full interview with Kelly: