Eagles trade Felix Jones to Steelers

Eagles trade RB Felix Jones to Steelers

8/23/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

When the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Le'Veon Bell in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, they were pleased to feel optimistic about their running back carousel finally coming to an end. However, Bell sustained a serious foot injury in the team's second preseason game that is expected to sideline him for 6-8 weeks, forcing the Steelers to find other backs to carry the workload. The backfield is currently comprised of Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer, with LaRod Stephens-Howling the likely third-down back. Redman and Dwyer got plenty of chances to make an impact in 2012, but constantly failed to prove themselves as reliable options.

In response to Bell's diagnosis, the Steelers went out and found themselves a new running back - Felix Jones. The Steelers acquired Jones from the Philadelphia Eagles in return for Adrian Robinson, an undrafted rookie who will fight for a roster spot. The trade makes it apparent that Jones was likely to be off the team by final cuts, and the Eagles wanted to get anything they could for him. Of course, Jones has shown plenty of promise in the past, so the Steelers will likely see if he can provide a spark in their backfield.

Blog Photo - Eagles trade Felix Jones to SteelersWith a career average of 4.8 yards per carry, Jones experienced most of his success during his early years with the Dallas Cowboys. He ran for a nice 4.5 yards per carry in 2011, but that average dropped to 3.6 in 2012, despite his taking the bulk of the workload when starter DeMarco Murray went down with an sprained foot.

Even so, Jones has the physical tools to break big plays - something the Steelers lack in their backfield. Jones' big play ability is what led him to a league-leading 5.9 yards per carry back 2009.

Keep in mind that Jones may get buried on the depth chart in Pittsburgh just like he was in Philadelphia, but it's worth noting that the competition is much easier in his new home. Jones' arrival could also mean that either Redman or Dwyer will be released at final cuts.

Be sure to keep an eye on the Steelers' third preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night, as that could give us a good idea of how carries will be distributed while Bell is sidelined. If Jones can impress the Steelers' coaching staff out of the gate, he could be in for a significant early season role.
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