PHILADELPHIA — Despite being 5-foot-6, running back Boston Scott is the Eagles’ next big thing.
He enters Sunday’s game at Washington as the team’s hottest offensive player. His impressive performance in a 23-17 overtime victory over the New York Giants on Monday — he gained 128 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown — had fans excited.
In one game, he morphed from a seldom-used former practice squad player into a combination of Darren Sproles, Emmitt Smith and the late Walter Payton.
“I understand people are excited,” Scott said Thursday. “But it was just one game. It’s important for me to stay humble because this league will humble you in a hurry.”
Scott, who was claimed off New Orleans’ practice squad late last season, opened Eagles training camp at the bottom of the depth chart. Jordan Howard, rookie Miles Sanders, Sproles, Corey Clement and even Donnel Pumphrey were ahead of him.
He played well in the preseason but spent the first five weeks of the regular season on the practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster Oct. 11 after Clement (shoulder) and Sproles (quadriceps) were lost for the rest of the season with injuries.
Howard and Sanders became the main ball carriers. Scott was used sparingly, though he scored his first NFL touchdown on a 5-yard run at Buffalo on Oct. 27.
“When Boston’s been given his opportunities, I think he’s maximixed them,” offensive coordinator Mike Groh said Wednesday.
“And usually when players do that, then they earn more opportunities, and they get the chance to get the ball more, and they see more playing time and then you can really put a body of work together.”
His best opportunity came against the Giants.
Howard, who will miss Sunday’s game at Washington, was out again with a shoulder injury. Sanders’ production has slowed down the stretch. Jay Ajayi, signed two weeks ago, has been ineffective.
Groh and coach Doug Pederson decided to give Scott a shot. He responded by rushing for 59 yards and a TD on 10 carries and catching six passes for 69 yards Monday.
“It was certainly exciting to see,” Groh said. “He brought an energy, got out there and made people miss. Made some exciting, loud plays. Got the fans energized and excited, got his teammates excited. He really provided the spark, and I think people fed off of that, I really do.”
Scott usually dresses in solitude after games and practices.
This past week, hordes of media surrounded his locker. He said he received hundreds of text messages from fans, friends and former teammates at Zachary High School (Louisiana) and Lousiana Tech.
Scott, 24, has tried his best not to get carried away by the attention.
“The big thing is just staying focused and being consistent,” he said after the crowd dispersed. “I just come to work every day and try to develop my craft. By no means have I made it. I know better than to act all high and mighty just because I had some success in one game.”