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Opportunity knocks for Eagles rookie RB Byron Marshall

With Ryan Mathews joining fellow running backs Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner on injured reserve, the Eagles have just two running backs on their roster: Darren Sproles and Byron Marshall.

That almost certainly will change before Sunday's final regular-season game against Dallas when the Eagles are likely to promote Terrell Watson from the practice squad.

The Eagles have an open spot on their 53-man roster after putting Mathews on IR on Tuesday.

"We haven't done anything yet,'' coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday morning. "As we have kind of done in the past, we'll just wait and see how the week goes.

"But we do have Watson on the practice squad, so that definitely is a possibility. With him sitting right there, it would be a no-brainer for us.''

Marshall, an undrafted rookie out of Oregon, was promoted from the practice squad two weeks ago after Smallwood was placed on IR with a knee injury.

He had nine carries for 22 yards, including 12- and 10-yard runs, in the Eagles' 27-26 Week 15 loss to the Ravens. He also had two receptions. He played just one offensive snap against the Giants last week, and didn't have any carries or receptions.

"Right now, the plan is (to primarily use) Darren,'' Pederson said. "But for sure we'll see a little more of (Marshall) on first and second down, and even some third-down situations.

"He learned a lot from the Baltimore game playing and calming himself down in that game. He had a couple of nice runs. His role will definitely increase a little bit.''

NOTES: Pederson said left guard Allen Barbre (hamstring) and slot receiver Jordan Matthews (ankle) will not practice Wednesday. He listed both as "day-to-day.'' He said "from all indications,'' Matthews should be able to play against the Cowboys.