Moats breaks ankle against Ravens, likely done for 2007
Third-year running back Ryan Moats, battling to survive the competition on a deep Philadelphia Eagles depth chart, suffered a broken left ankle in Monday night's preseason defeat to the Baltimore Ravens and likely will miss the entire 2007 season.
Plagued by fumbles and inconsistency in training camp, the once highly-regarded Moats was already facing an uphill battle simply to retain his roster spot. He was probably the No. 4 back on the club, behind starter Brian Westbrook, top reserve Correll Buckhalter and rookie Tony Hunt, a third-round choice in this year's draft.
Moats, 24, was injured in the third quarter on a run on which he lost three yards. He left the game with two rushes for two yards, one reception for no yards and a 20-yard kickoff return.
Selected in the third round of the 2005 draft, and seen as a potential backup to Westbrook, the former Louisiana Tech standout had a productive rookie year in limited playing time. The Eagles chose him in part because he had a similar body type and skills set to Westbrook.
In his 2005 debut season, Moats rushed for 278 yards and three touchdowns on only 77 carries, playing in seven games and starting one. He rushed for 114 yards and two scores against the New York Giants.
Moats flashed enough big-play potential, with scoring runs of 18, 40 and 59 yards, that a few franchises, including the Denver Broncos, inquired about him in trade discussions. But in 2006, Moats appeared in only eight games and got just 22 carries for 69 yards.
This summer in camp, Moats' problems holding onto the ball, coupled with the arrival of Hunt, a former Penn State star, put his job in jeopardy. He is likely now to be placed on injured reserve for the year.
For his career, Moats has 77 rushes for 347 yards and three touchdowns and four receptions for seven yards. He averaged 17.3 yards on four kickoff returns. Moats has appeared in 15 games, with one start. Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
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