Former Panthers RB Elijah Holyfield – and son of boxing great Evander – was signed by the Eagles and added to the active roster.
Is Elias Holyfield the real deal? Only time can tell. So far, he’s the newest member of the Eagles.
Philadelphia added the former Carolina Panthers running back to the 53-man roster on Tuesday as a way to deepen the position. This marked the first sign of a non-practice squad player in a few weeks for the team. He will take the vacant roster spot of Daeshon Hall sent to IR following a torn ACL.
Holyfield enjoyed a semi-productive preseason after rushing 19 times for 79 yards and a touchdown while catching six passes for 28 yards and a touchdown. However, the 22-year-old did not make the final cuts and ended up in the Panthers practice squad.
Holyfield has not made a free agent outside of Georgia where he rushed 159 times for 1,018 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He ran an unofficial 4.78 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
Another thing: Holyfield is the son of Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, the former four-time heavyweight champion worldwide. Yes, he’s also the man who got his ear shut up by Mike Tyson. Evander retired in 2014 and remains the only boxer in history to win the undefeated championship in two different weight classes. That speaks to a great pedigree for Elijah.
Holyfield Provides Insurance for Miles Sanders
Elijah Holyfield’s signature seemed to come out of the blue and draw some red flags. For one, the move will appear to be insurance in case Miles Sanders is not playing. The rookie running back was linked to his ankle last week and his status remains in question for the Eagles’ wild-card playoff game.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that an MRI on Sanders’ ankle revealed a low type of low ankle sprain but he had a good chance of playing in Sunday’s game. Inflammation appears to be the only issue the team is slightly concerned about and monitoring. Head coach Doug Pederson confirmed there was “good news” about the injured ankle in Sanders.
An MRI showed #Eagles RB Miles Sanders had a low type of low ankle sprain, the source said. Inflammation is the issue now; coach Doug Peterson said his star rookie would be “OK,” a good sign for Sanders’ chance to play in Sunday’s playoff against the #Seahawks.
– Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 31, 2019
“He was every day,” Pederson said of Sanders. “It should be okay. Have good news with her.”
Jordan Howard Is Still Burning, Not ‘Game Shape’
The other motivator in the Eagles’ backfield is Jordan Howard. The Pro-Bowl running back has not played in a game since the Bear’s defeat on November 3.
Howard, who takes care of a shoulder shinger, was active for decision making last week but the Eagles chose to have Boston Scott join him after Miles Sanders went down with an ankle injury.
Of course, Scott rewards the confidence of the coaching staff by racking up 142 all-purpose yards en route to NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Not too nasty.
This is what Doug Pederson said about Howard and his presence going forward that kept many people off their heads. The coach indicates that Howard’s conditioning is off and he is not yet in “game shape.”
At the risk of Sanders’ status, the Eagles could rely on Howard in some capacity. Unless they throw Elijah Holyfield into the mix.
“I expect his work load to increase a little bit this week as he gets more game-ready and game-ready,” Pederson said. “We’re going to have a plan for the Jordan move, and he needs to play that way.”
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