PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Boom.
With 9:32 remaining in the third quarter and the Eagles trailing the Panthers 21-6, Ryan Mathews took a Sam Bradford hand off 63-yards for a touchdown. Just like that, the Eagles were down just one score.READ MORE: Family Holds Balloon Release For 'Gentle Soul' 17-Year-Old Nasir Muhammad, Gunned Down In Front Of Mom's Home
To that point it was only Mathews’ fifth carry of the game and with about 25 minutes of football remaining, you would expect to see a lot more of him after that game-saving run.
But we didn’t. In fact, after that touchdown, Mathews touched the ball just three more times throughout the game—only one carry. The Eagles lost 27-16.
“I don’t know those guys’ rotation during the game, but I think Mathews—when he gets in—he does a good job,” linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Monday. “You see him when he gets in the game, he pretty much electrifies the offense. He’s able to make some nice runs and pounding people on the defensive side of the ball. It’s fun and exciting to watch Mathews run the ball. I always like to see him and I would like to see him get more touches because he does a really great job for offense. I think he really adds an entire spark to the offense and to the team when he runs the ball.”
Listen: DeMeco Ryans on the 94WIP Morning Show
DeMarco Murray, the Eagles’ starting running back, finished the game with 18 carries for 65 yards. Mathews tallied 97 yards on his six attempts. And as a team, the Eagles gashed the Panthers for 177 rushing yards on 30 total carries.
So where was Mathews late?READ MORE: More Than 800 Baby Turtles Safe In Stockton University's Care Thanks To Quick Thinking, Little Innovation
“Ryan played during the third and fourth quarter, just when he was in there were pass plays called,” head coach Chip Kelly explained on the 94WIP Morning Show. “So it’s not that he wasn’t in the football game, he was playing. Were really rotating those guys, between DeMarco, Ryan, and [Darren Sproles] Sprolesy. We’re getting production from all three of them. It’s a good thing to have three running backs that are talented.
“I think part of it is, when he’s in there I was calling pass plays just because of the situation.”
However, during his press conference on Monday afternoon, Kelly said Mathews was actually injured.
“Ryan hurt his groin on the 22-yard run before he broke the long [63-yard touchdown] run and really couldn’t go,” Kelly told reporters. “So [running backs coach] Duce [Staley] was monitoring him on the sideline, what he could and couldn’t do.”
For the season, Mathews has 342 yards on the ground on just 56 carries in seven games, an average of over six yards per carry. Murray has just 307 yards on 88 attempts in six games played, an average of three and a half yards per carry.MORE NEWS: 'Mom-And-Pop Bakeries Are Dying': Homemade Goodies By Roz May Have To Close Due To Worker Shortage