Former University of Washington running back Chris Polk has made it through the Philadelphia Eagles’ final cuts down to a 53 man roster, meaning the NFL franchise plans on keeping him for the regular season.
In April, Husky fans were shocked to see the star running back slide from a projected third round selection to undrafted status, likely due to what was rumored to be a degenerative hip condition. The medical issue was news to fans, and to Polk himself, as the ability to withstand the punishment of carrying the load as an every down back was thought to be one of the 222-pound back’s biggest strengths. Concerns over multiple knee surgeries were expected to slightly hurt his stock in the eyes of general managers, but after being medically cleared, few saw Polk falling past the fourth round.
After going the entire draft without hearing his name called, Polk denied that he had any sort of degenerative condition and quickly signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a priority free agent. Throughout camp, the second all-time leading rusher in the history of Washington football faced an uphill battle to stay on the team. With LeSean McCoy already cemented as the starting back and Dion Lewis thought to be a likely backup, many assumed Polk would have to beat out fellow rookie Bryce Brown for the third halfback spot. This turned out not to be the case, as the Eagles appear to be keeping four running backs.
More than anything, it is Polk’s versatility that makes him valuable enough for the team to carry an extra player at the position. He is the best on the team in pass protection, a skilled receiver, and obviously a talented runner who relishes contact. While this route to the NFL certainly was not what was expected, Polk must be given credit for battling his way on to a roster when adversity robbed him of an easy path.