On Monday, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson named Darren Sproles as the team's new starting quarterback. This means original starter Ryan Matthews has been pushed back to the backup role.
The announcement by Pederson probably didn't come as a surprise to most Eagles fans especially Sproles has taken up a larger role than Matthews during the team's last two games against the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.
Despite the Eagles losing in both of these games, Sproles was still able to play about 80 percent of the snaps in these matches as opposed to just 8 snaps for Mathews. In addition, in Weeks 8 and 9, Sproles was able to make a combined 36 offensive touches and only 10 for Mathews.
Needless to say, after seeing these two guys perform on the field, Pederson made a drastic roster move that he believes will be better for the team.
But as Pederson noted, even though Sproles is the new starter, the team will still rely on his backups. Aside from Matthews, these include Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood.
"By stats and by what you're seeing, I would say that Darren is the No. 1 back right now," the coach said. "Ryan is still a big part [of the offense]; you saw the touchdown run that he had yesterday. Kenjon had a nice run. Wendell had a nice run."
"So it's still a little bit of the running back by committee," he added. "Obviously, we haven't hung our hat on one guy, but we tend to lean more towards Darren Sproles. It's hard to take him off the field right now."
Given the way Pederson values his running backs, he'll probably keep the bench intact instead waiving either Barner or Smallwood. But then again, since the team has already discovered a strong running back in the form of Sproles, it probably wouldn't hurt the team and its salary cap if it decides to part ways with its third or fourth stringer.
Hopefully though, Sproles will continue improving as the Eagles head into Week 10 against the Atlanta Falcons. As seen in the two previous games, the team needs to tighten both its offense and defense in order to end its current losing streak.