Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 42 of 47 DECEMBER 2018 43 BY COREY BODDEN A fter going undrafted and beginning the 2018 NFL season on the Phila‑ delphia Eagles' practice squad, former Irish running back Josh Adams is start‑ ing to make his mark as a professional. Adams, who rushed for 1,430 yards during his final year in South Bend, made his NFL debut Sept. 23 against the Indianapolis Colts and rushed for 30 yards on six carries. However, over the next four games Adams re‑ ceived just five attempts — including two games with zero carries — and totaled 16 rushing yards. The rookie kept pushing ahead and running hard during practices, and eventually earned more of an oppor‑ tunity. Against the Jacksonville Jag‑ uars in London Oct. 28, Adams led the Eagles with nine carries for 61 yards (6.8 per attempt) in a 24‑18 victory. Following Philadelphia's bye week, the rookie led the team in both rush‑ ing attempts (seven) and yards (47) in a 27‑20 home loss to Dallas Nov. 11. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson liked what he saw from his undrafted rookie during that two‑game stretch. "Do I think he can have a few more touches? I do," Pederson told NBC Sports Philadelphia. "So that'll answer everybody's question right there. I do feel like he can touch the ball a few more times. "For the limited amount of touches, I thought Josh played well, and he's improved each week," he added. "I think Josh has been the spark the last couple weeks. We'll continue to give him a few more opportunities." Pederson stayed true to those com‑ ments during the team's next game, against New Orleans Nov. 18. Although the defending Super Bowl champs were waxed by the Saints 48‑7 on the road, Adams received the high‑ est total of touches to that point of his young career, tying the mark he set against Jacksonville with 10 (nine rushing and one reception). Of the 17 touches on the ground and through the air for Philadelphia running backs, 10 went to Adams. He rushed for 53 yards on seven carries while catching three passes for 19 yards. It was a special game for Adams despite the loss. Down 17‑0 in the second quarter, Adams found the hole in the middle of the New Or‑ leans defense and raced to the end zone for a 28‑yard touchdown — the first of his career. "It was just one of our normal staple plays," Adams told Phila‑ "It's something we had been running all game. Just staying patient to it and trusting it. Just waiting for it to open up. "I kept the ball. The offensive line was doing a good job all night being able to run the ball and consistently get yardage. A lot of credit to those guys." Even though it was a benchmark moment for Adams, he was more fo‑ cused on the result of the game than his performance individually. "I was excited," Adams said. "Obvi‑ ously the first one, so I'm blessed and grateful for that. It's just hard to think about because we're not doing it for that. … I'm doing it to put my team in the best position to win and we didn't get that done. I just have to do more. "All I know about is what we are doing right now at this moment and that's trying to work through after a loss, trying to figure out what we need to do better to move on to the next game. We have a lot of talented guys who are about each other, we just have to put the pieces together." With expected starter Jay Ajayi sidelined for the season with an ACL injury and Darren Sproles still work‑ ing his way back from a hamstring is‑ sue, Adams was expected to continue to see a significant workload for the 4‑6 Eagles. ✦ IRISH IN THE PROS Josh Adams Making A Strong Impression In Philadelphia During a three-game stretch from Oct. 28 to Nov. 18, Adams notched team highs in carries (23), rush- ing yards (161), yards per carry (7.0) and rushing touchdowns (one) for the Eagles. PHOTO COURTESY PHILADELPHIA EAGLES NOTRE DAME IN THE NFL: WEEK 11 HIGHLIGHTS • Theo Riddick (Played at Notre Dame from 2009-12), RB, Detroit Lions: Had five catches for 30 yards in a 20‑19 win over the Carolina Panthers. • Harrison Smith (2007-11), S, Minnesota Vikings: Racked up eight tackles, including two for loss, in a 25‑20 road loss to the Chicago Bears. • Golden Tate (2007-09), WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Led the team with five catches for 48 yards in a 48‑7 road loss to the New Orleans Saints.

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