Henry Josey, who put up the best preseason numbers by an Eagles running back in at least 15 years, has been released, a league source said Friday afternoon.
Josey, an undrafted rookie from Missouri, elbowed his way into a crowded running back picture with a series of impressive preseason games, culminating in a 122-yard performance in the preseason finale against the Jets.
Overall, Josey ran 34 times for 225 yards and caught three passes for 39 yards and a 27-yard touchdown.
Josey led the NFL this preseason with a 6.6 yards per-carry average this preseason, and his 225 yards were second to Lorenzo Taliaferro of the Ravens, who had 243.
The Eagles are expected to keep Matthew Tucker and Chris Polk instead of Josey, along with LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. Tucker and Polk are both big backs who can run the ball inside or out, catch the ball out of the backfield and — importantly — block.
Josey stands 5-foot-8, 195 pounds and is not considered a proficient blocker, which in the Eagles' offense is critical.
The Eagles will learn by noon Sunday whether Josey has cleared waivers. If he does, he’ll likely be added to the team’s practice squad.
For another team to claim Josey, it would have to release a player it liked enough to keep on its original 53-man roster. All NFL rosters must be reduced from 75 to the regular-season limit of 53 by 4 p.m. Saturday.
Josey was a great story this summer, coming out of nowhere to perform at a consistently high level.
When injuries shelved Polk, Tucker and David Fluellen for the preseason game against the Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Josey found himself the only healthy back other than McCoy and Sproles, and he responded to his first NFL action with 56 rushing yards on eight carries, plus a 27-yard TD catch from Matt Barkley.
Josey then ran four times for 48 yards against the Steelers and 22 times for 121 yards against the Jets.
"Thank you eagle nation it's been a blast, the journey continues! Appreciate the opportunity and support!" Josey tweeted Friday afternoon.