Ryan Mathews jogged onto the practice field in uniform Tuesday for the first time since the Eagles' most explosive runner suffered a concussion in the Nov. 15 game against the Dolphins, but more reporters' eyes were trailing DeMarco Murray.
Murray made headlines when ESPN's Ed Werder tweeted the following on Tuesday morning:
Of course, letting a national reporter know you went over the coach's head to the owner with your concerns is pretty much guaranteed to cause a scene; it reads like an attempt to get out of town - unless, having played four years in Dallas, Murray incorrectly assumes that going to the owner is the way players get things done in the NFL.
Murray carried the ball only eight times for 24 yards Sunday at New England, and was on the field for only 14 snaps. Offensive coordinator Pat Shumur was asked a bunch of questions Tuesday about Murray and the running backs, and Shurmur didn't seem too thrilled to see hints of discord dominating his first media session since the Eagles pulled off the NFL upset of the season.
Shurmur said Murray has expressed no displeasure to him. He said the use of this back or that back in a particular game might vary, but that Murray has far more carries this season than any other Eagles back, and that should be the bottom line.
"I think what you've got to look at is, we won a football game the other night against a really fine opponent. and he contributed in the game," Shurmur said. "I think that's reality of it. There should be some joy in that, at least for a few hours, until we get back to Philly from our flight to Providence. I think we play all the running backs. ... Sometimes a guy will play a handful of snaps more than others. ... Put the guys in the game that will help us win the football game."
Asked his evaluation of Murray this season, Shurmur said: "We're going to do everything we can to get ready for Buffalo. He helped contribute to a win the other night."
After practice, Mathews said he felt good and is optimistic about playing this weekend.
Shurmur called wideout Miles Austin, released Monday, "a positive influence." The Eagles have replaced Austin on their roster with a pass rusher, outside linebacker Steven Means, signed from the Texans' practice squad.