Doug Pederson on Holyfield: ‘We liked him all the way back in the draft’

Injuries have hurt the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles, and it got worse when rookie RB Miles Sanders left the Eagles’ 34-17 victory over the Giants with an ankle injury last Sunday. Sanders did not practice on Thursday, and at this point, his status is unknown for Sunday’s NFC Wild-Card game against the Seahawks. Without Sanders, and with only Jordan Howard, who is returning from a shoulder injury and Boston Scott, the Eagles made a move.

On Wednesday, the Eagles signed a running back who they hope is the “real deal.” Philadelphia signed rookie RB Elijah Holyfield, who is the son of former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. 

After going undrafted, the 22-year-old Holyfield signed with the Carolina Panthers. Holyfield would eventually be waived by Carolina in September but was signed to the team’s practice squad. Once his contract expired with the Panthers, Holyfield was signed to the Eagles active roster.

On Wednesday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson explained why the team signed Holyfield. 

“Number one, we’ve always had our eye on him [Holyfield],” Pederson said. “We liked him all the way back in the draft. I actually went to a private workout with him at Georgia this past spring and was down there. We really liked the kid coming out and all-that, so obviously had our eye on that.

“And we’ve had four guys on our roster typically most of the season. It gives us depth obviously at the position. Obviously, he has to come in and pick up the playbook, at least the game plan for this week, before we can do anything. But a player that we were excited to pick up when we had the opportunity.”

Coming in so late, it should be interesting to see what role Holyfield will have with the team. However, with the running back situation the way it is, maybe Holyfield gets a carry or two. 

The Eagles also signed WR Shelton Gibson on Wednesday. To make from for Holyfield and Gibson, Philadelphia put G Brandon Brooks and DE Daeshon Hall on injured reserve. 

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