Jay Ajayi, Doug Pederson Met to Discuss RB's Frustration

Jay Ajayi and Doug Pederson did have a brief meeting this week. 

It just wasn't a big deal, according to Ajayi. 

Pederson spoke to Ajayi on Monday morning and the two understood that Ajayi's frustration and sulky mood after Sunday's game stemmed from losing a fumble at the goal line in the fourth quarter against the Bears and wasn't a reaction to his limited play time. 

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"He knew where it was coming from and obviously, I was just frustrated (about fumbling)," Ajayi said. "It wasn't really a big conversation. The message was 'move onto Seattle. It is what it is.'"

After Nelson Agholor jumped on the loose ball to recover it for a touchdown, Ajayi was seen where he fumbled, laying with his face down on the ground. Even as he walked on the sideline, cameras caught him shaking his head, visibly upset with himself. It was the fourth lost fumble of his career. 

To make matters worse, he knew he should have had a touchdown. 

As he spoke on Friday, though, Ajayi said he had moved on. The fumble didn't weigh on him during this week. 

"Obviously, during the game, I'm a very passionate player and I'm very hard on myself as well," Ajayi said. "I was definitely frustrated I wasn't able to finish the run. It was great blocking and it was basically just me and the end zone and I have to be able to finish in the open field. Knowing those guys might be coming to punch the ball out. It's a learning opportunity. As running backs, we're nothing without the football. It was just frustrating that I put the ball on the ground." 

Ajayi has carried the ball just 20 times through three games with the Eagles but could start to see an expanded role if the team decides to use him more on third downs. Corey Clement has been getting the bulk of third-down snaps, but Ajayi said he's good with protections, the most vital part of being on the field in those situations. 

With a three-man rotation, the Eagles will have three relatively fresh running backs now that the calendar has turned to December. 

"This is the month," Ajayi said. "When it comes down to playoff football and games that matter and games that count, it's always the big games that happen down the stretch. Kind of having that experience of having to go through some big games last year to make the playoffs, you understand how crucial every one of those games is. This one coming up this Sunday is a big one for us, big test. Away game in a crazy atmosphere. The challenge is ahead of us but we're excited for it."

Ajayi said that he would be fresh whether he carries the ball five times per game or 20. He prides himself on being fresh late into games and late into seasons. 

When asked if he'd like more carries, Ajayi, like he did after the game, said he just does whatever the coaches ask. 

"Obviously, you want to be able to get in a rhythm of the game and be able to feel how the game is going," he said. "But what we've been doing, it's been working. It's just how it's been going. Whenever your number gets called, make it count. And understanding that realistically the opportunities are limited. You gotta make sure you take advantage of them."

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