Nobody will forget about LeSean McCoy anytime soon, but Philadelphia Eagles running back Matthew Tucker showed Friday night against the Chicago Bears that there might be even more talent in the Philly backfield than many fans and observers previously thought.
Tucker plowed his way through the the Bears defense for 40 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries. He also added one catch for 15 yards to complete his evening of work. However, Tucker did register a costly fumble, and his night ended early after he reportedly hurt his hamstring, per the team's official Twitter account:
The 6'1, 227-pound back out of Texas Christian is entering his second year in the NFL and is hungry to establish himself in the league after appearing in just two games in his rookie season.
He's not really a blip on anybody's fantasy radar screen (nor should he be with McCoy, Chris Polk and Darren Sproles in the fold). Still, if Tucker continues to display his talents in this preseason, he could be a great waiver-wire pickup if McCoy or Sproles gets injured and quality running backs are scarce.
It should also be noted that Tucker isn't guaranteed a roster spot, although this performance will go a long way toward clearing that up. Martin Frank of The News Journal gave his take on the Philadelphia Eagles training camp battle and why Tucker has a solid chance of making the squad:
Most teams will keep three running backs during a season. But Eagles coach Chip Kelly showed that he has use for as many as four. The Eagles rushed 500 times last season, a nearly 50-50 split with their 508 passing attempts. Only five other teams had a higher ratio of runs to passes last year. For now, Kelly said Tucker has the advantage over [Henry] Josey and [David] Fluellen because he was on the practice squad for most of last season, and he knows the system better than the others.
Head coach Chip Kelly can find ways to get a player with just about any skill set involved in the offense, which is a good sign for fans of the emerging Tucker. Provided his hamstring injury isn't a serious issue, Tucker has a great chance of making the final 53-man roster.