PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Chris Polk heard of the player, he just didn’t know about the stat.
When the Eagles second-year running back scored on a 38-yard touchdown run in the team’s 34-20 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, it was his second touchdown on his ninth career carry.
The last Eagles running back to score two touchdowns that quick into his career was Charlie Garner, who scored two touchdowns on his first five carries in a 40-8 win over San Francisco back in 1994.
“I remember Charlie Garner. I remember the name, anyway” Polk said this week when told of the accomplishment. “But 1994, wow I was four years old.”
Polk, an undrafted rookie free agent in 2012, played in seven games as a rookie for the Eagles, all on special teams. He didn’t get his first carry until earlier this season in a blowout loss to Denver. In that one he carried three times for 33 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown run.
During last week’s snow-filled game against Detroit he carried four times for 50 yards, with the 38-yard touchdown run. In between, he got two carries in a win over the Giants.
“I know I have to be patient,” Polk said. “And I don’t mind that. I’m here on a good team, with a good coaching staff and we’re doing well. I feel blessed.”
Polk is also taking advantage of playing behind LeSean McCoy, the NFL’s leading rusher, and being coached by Duce Staley, another former Eagles running back, who had his share of 1,000-yard seasons.
“I guess you could say it’s good and bad, having a guy like LeSean in front of you,” Polk said. “I just look at the good. There’s so much I can learn from him, and that’s what I’m doing. I watch the things he does, and how he does them. I couldn’t have a better person, or player in front of me.
“And then to have Duce as a coach. He’s great too. I mean he’s knows so much having just played the game and played it here. To be honest, I think I’m in a great position.”
Polk’s position on the team is gradually moving up the depth chart. Bryce Brown, another second-year player, has been McCoy’s primary back-up, but as Polk continues to play well, head coach Chip Kelly can’t help but notice.
“You keep showing us that you deserve time on the field then that’s what it’s all about,” Kelly said when asked about Polk this week.
Kelly is happy to see Polk making the kind of plays for the Eagles that he used to make against him when he was coaching against him at Oregon in the Pac-12.
“The one thing I knew about Chris is he was just a tough, hard-nosed, physical football player,” Kelly said. “I mean, he had 1,000 - I’m exaggerating - but he had like 1,000 carries in college. He was the workhorse at the University of Washington, and they just ran him and he kept getting stronger and stronger as the game went along.”
It seems to be only a matter of time before Polk gets more carries in Kelly’s offense, perhaps as soon as Sunday in Minnesota where the Eagles take on the Vikings.
“Good things come to those who wait,” Polk said. “We have good running backs here, so I can’t be upset with anything. The only thing I can control is my effort on the field. So I’m going to do everything I need to do to get on the field and when I do I have to make things happen.”
So far, so good.
“Chris has done a good job,” Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. “I’ve been impressed with him all the way from the spring training sessions. You saw he has a burst. That was one of those runs where he broke through - James Casey did a good job of sealing one defender - and then he broke a tackle, and once he got to the third level he was able to score with it. That (touchdown) run kind of illustrates a little bit what Chris is.”
NOTES: Safety Earl Wolff (knee) and backup linebacker Najee Goode (hamstring) are both listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. Wolff, who practiced on a limited basis this week, has missed the last three games.