Chip Kelly admits he's concerned about the Eagles' $42 million free agent making it through the season

The early reports about DeMarco Murray’s training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles have been mixed.

After signing Murray to a five-year, $US42 million contract this offseason, the Eagles have been cautious with Murray, limiting his training camp and preseason action.

After leading the NFL in rushing yards with 1,845 and a whopping 392 rushing carries and 57 receptions, some in the NFL world were worried that Murray, at 27 years old, would burn out from the heavy workload.

Chip Kelly told SI’s Peter King that it is something he’s concerned about, and is limiting Murray’s action consequently:

“I think there is a lot of validity to it. But how do you manage him going into a season? Our plan all along was to get another running back with him. I wanted to have two running backs, and that’s why we got Ryan [Mathews]. I don’t think you can have a guy carry it 370 to 400 times per season and be successful. We’re going to run it a lot — we always do — but we’ll have more than one guy doing it.”

And the Eagles are indeed exercising caution with Murray.

On the first day of training camp, Murray was held out. He said he didn’t know why. Kelly later told reporters that it was because of Murray’s “hydration levels.”

Later on in training camp, Murray missed time with an illness, then days later he sat out part of practice before taking limited reps with the first unit.

Murray has expressed frustration at times, but also admitted he understands, saying, “I think there’s a difference between getting the reps you need and getting too many reps. There are some situations where you know we feel that it’s a scheme that I’m in there and there are certain situations where I’m comfortable in some things.”

Murray then sat out of the Eagles first preseason game on Sunday.

In the long run, it’s smart of Kelly to limit Murray, so long as there’s a mutual understanding. While Murray undoubtedly needs his reps and there’s risk of throwing off his normal rhythm, that should all return as the season gets closer and Murray’s workload increases.

As long as the Eagles other running backs stay healthy — like Ryan Matthews as Kelly mentioned — then Murray should benefit from the lighter workload and even increase his efficiency during the season.

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