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Pederson insists Ryan Mathews still Eagles No. 1 RB

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The Ryan Mathews disappearing act in Philly can't last forever. Right?

Eagles coach Doug Pederson insisted Wednesday that the veteran runner remains the team's top back, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Pederson went on to cite Darren Sproles as a complementary piece, despite the quick-footed satellite back averaging 37 snaps per game this season to just 19 for Matthews. The breakdown was especially jarring in Sunday night's loss to the Cowboys, with Sproles on the field for 79 percent of plays while Mathews logged just eight snaps all evening.

After playing 35 snaps in the opener, Mathews has yet to approach those totals since, failing to play more than 50 percent of plays iall year and seeing snap counts of eight, eight and 11 plays over three of his past five games.

Rookie Wendell Smallwood has logged more action over the past month than Mathews, while Sproles saw his workload balloon with a season-high 62 snaps against Dallas.

Fantasy heads and Eagles fans need to see it on the field before accepting Pederson's pecking-order report point blank. Mathews has vanished in this offense, something we didn't expect to write about the Eagles heading into this season.

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