"You can't make the club in the tub," or so goes the old football adage. That is of course unless you're a really good player, in which case you most definitely can make an NFL roster if you're banged up. Obviously, the Patriots wouldn't just cut a guy like Rob Gronkowski because he missed training camp.
So what to do with Chris Polk, the oft-injured Eagles running back who has missed the majority of training camp and all four preseason games? Polk is far from a star player. He has a grand total of 11 career rushing attempts and four career receptions, all in 2013.
What he did in those limited opportunities, however, was very impressive.
1) Here he is in garbage time against the Broncos, but watch this "GET OFF OF ME!" broken tackle in the open field on a Bronco linebacker:
2) Here he is getting north-south in the Snow Bowl against the Lions:
3) Here he is running over a Bears safety en route to a score:
4) And finally, here he is on the 3rd play of the game (a key 3rd down and 3) in the "NFC East Championship Game" against Dallas. Note that the play is designed to go his way in a big spot, which indicates that Chip Kelly trusts him:
Would it have been ideal if Chris Polk had played all throughout camp? Of course.
But is Chris Polk a hell of a lot more valuable than whoever the 53rd guy on the roster will be? Unquestionably, yes. Unless the staff felt like Polk was dogging it (and there's no evidence that that's the case), the prospect of cutting him because a nagging hamstring injury kept him from participating in camp would be short-sighted and foolish.
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