It's probably too late for Donnel Pumphrey to get back into the competition for an Eagles roster slot, but Pumphrey said Tuesday he is healthy and plans to play in next week's preseason finale, in hopes of impressing someone, somewhere.
"Whether it's here or somewhere else, that's the biggest game," Pumphrey said. "Put something on tape."
Pumphrey, a running back drafted in 2017's fourth round, missed his rookie season after suffering a right hamstring injury. He was not doing much before he got hurt; he looked slight, at 5-foot-9, 176, and hesitant. Pumphrey spent the offseason trying to get stronger and gaining confidence in his knowledge of the Eagles' offense. He was off to a much better start in OTAs and training camp, before injuring the same hamstring, in the same spot, he said.
"I think it's more disappointing because it happened right before the first preseason game, and that's really where I wanted to showcase myself … [after] just waiting the whole year to be able to compete against someone else," he said.
Pumphrey said he feels he is back at 100 percent and will rejoin practice when the team reconvenes following Thursday's preseason game at Cleveland. "I've been running for about a week now," he said.
With Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement sitting out this week's game because of injuries, and Darren Sproles skipping the preseason at age 35, this would have been a good chance for Pumphrey to show what he can do. Instead, Wendell Smallwood and Matt Jones again will get extended looks, and undrafted rookie Josh Adams, who returned to practice Tuesday, said he hopes to play as well.
Ajayi, Sproles and Clement will make the team. The fourth back could make the active roster, or be placed on the practice squad if the Eagles want to go heavier at other positions.
Pumphrey said he recently "deactivated" his Twitter account, "just to focus on my goals, of playing in the NFL." He has been a subject of ire from fans disappointed in his production and impatient with his injuries. That situation worsened in the offseason, when Pumphrey, a Lakers fan from Las Vegas, gleefully tweeted a welcome to Los Angeles to LeBron James – while Philly-area fans were disappointed that James didn't sign with the Sixers. Some less-than-cordial back-and-forth ensued.
Asked if the LeBron blowback played into his decision to get away from the platform, Pumphrey said: "Kinda, sorta."
Adams, 6-2, 225, from Central Bucks South and Notre Dame, went undrafted after a hairline right foot fracture surfaced in NFL Scouting Combine testing. Adams said he "rolled" the same foot in practice last week, and was held out as a precaution from last Thursday's preseason game at New England. He gained 30 yards on six carries in the preseason opener, against the Steelers.
"It's feeling good now," he said.
Mack (under) the knife?
Mack Hollins' unimpressive training camp could be a slow recovery from offseason sports hernia surgery, SiriusXM radio host Adam Caplan reported Tuesday.
The Eagles and Hollins have never mentioned surgery, and Hollins was not in the locker room Tuesday while reporters were present. Hollins sat out last week's preseason game after playing against Pittsburgh.
Doug Pederson said Tuesday that Hollins is "progressing and we'll see where he's at after today and then make a decision" about Hollins playing Thursday.
Pederson made it official that Sproles and 36-year-old left tackle Jason Peters will be held out until the regular season.
Joining the book club
Doug Pederson said he was reluctant to get involved in writing the book "Fearless," with Dan Pompei, out this week.
"When the project was first introduced, I was against it. Quite honestly, I didn't want to do it," Pederson said. "And then I got to thinking, it's a way for people I think to kind of see me in a different light a little bit. You guys see me like this as coach, being around the team. I'm a very private person and I don't talk about myself and my family a bunch. But it's just a way for people maybe to kind of get to know me outside of football."