FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Henry Josey has faced longer odds. The running back from Missouri suffered a devastating knee injury in 2011 -- tearing his ACL, his MCL, his patellar tendon and meniscus in the knee.
Josey came back from the injury to rush for 1,166 yards in 2013. Although his coaches advised him against leaving a year early to enter the NFL draft, Josey did so. It was the same decision former Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin made a few years earlier.
Maclin was the Eagles’ first-round pick in 2009. Josey went undrafted in 2014. He signed with the Eagles as a free agent after the draft. That meant trying to make a roster that had LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles ahead of him on the depth chart.
But here comes the second preseason game, and three of the Eagles’ running backs are injured. Chris Polk, Matthew Tucker and David Fluellen have not practiced in three days and are unlikely to play against the New England Patriots Friday night. That leaves McCoy and Sproles, who are likely to finish their night’s work by halftime, and Henry Josey.
“It’s always going to be a great opportunity,” Josey said Thursday. “I’m looking forward to it. Those guys (McCoy and Sproles) have been pushing me all week, staying on me. I really appreciate how those guys have been pushing me. They’re two great leaders to follow.”
Josey said he hasn’t heard from the coaches how much he’ll play, and that’s just fine with him.
“I don’t need to know how much I’m going to play,” Josey said. “I worry about what I can do. If you’re worried about that (playing time), you’re not worried about going in at all, really. This is a blessing for me to be in this position. I’m not going to worry about how many snaps I get. I’m just going to go for it.”
There were six running backs on the roster when Josey got here. There still are, but only three of them are healthy.
“I’ve never been a numbers guy,” Josey said. “I’m not going to look at them now. I just love playing the game.”
He will get a chance against the Patriots. After that, it’s up to Josey.