Former Aussie Rules player Cam Johnston has left fans in awe with an incredible performance on debut for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The rookie punter showed absolutely no nerves on the big stage of the NFL, unleashing a number of huge kicks to help the Eagles beat Atlanta 18-12 on Friday (AEST).

After a first-up effort of 58 yards, Johnston uncorked a massive 65-yard punt.

He finished up with six punts for 313 yards, at an average of 52.2 yards per punt.

Cameron Johnston reacts after being hit by Foye Oluokun as he punted the ball. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
But it was his shortest punt of the night – a 46-yard effort – that set the Eagles up for a match-winning, 11-yard touchdown by running back Jay Ajayi.

He also earned a crucial down-field penalty for his side when he was taken out late by Foye Oluokun.

Johnston, who grew up playing Aussie rules and was drafted by the Melbourne Demons in 2011, is battle-hardened for the pressure of the NFL after spending four years punting for Ohio State University in front of home crowds of more than 100,000.

Fans flocked to social media to praise the young Aussie.

Josh Adams has had to do a lot of waiting the last 3 ½ months.

In late April, the 6-2, 220-pound running back out of Notre Dame by way of Central Bucks South High School waited in vain for three days to hear his name called in the NFL draft before finally signing as an undrafted free agent with the Eagles.

Then he spent the spring OTAs and minicamps waiting for a hairline fracture in his right foot to heal. The injury initially was spotted during a medical exam in February at the NFL scouting combine.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been frustrating,’’ said Adams, who finally was cleared to play two weeks ago, at the start of training camp. “I’d call it a test of my patience, testing the mental side of things.

Josh Adams has had to do a lot of waiting the last 3 ½ months.

In late April, the 6-2, 220-pound running back out of Notre Dame by way of Central Bucks South High School waited in vain for three days to hear his name called in the NFL draft before finally signing as an undrafted free agent with the Eagles.

Then he spent the spring OTAs and minicamps waiting for a hairline fracture in his right foot to heal. The injury initially was spotted during a medical exam in February at the NFL scouting combine.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been frustrating,’’ said Adams, who finally was cleared to play two weeks ago, at the start of training camp. “I’d call it a test of my patience, testing the mental side of things.

“Would I be able to be ready (mentally) once I was ready to go physically? I used that time off to learn the playbook as much as I could.’’

>> READ MORE: Tuesday’s practice observations from Jeff McLane

TIM TAI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Josh Adams is one of four running backs, along with Wendell Smallwood, Matt Jones and Donnel Pumphrey, who are trying to make the Eagles roster behind the starters.

Adams’ first two weeks of camp have been mainly about shaking off the rust and getting comfortable with the Eagles’ offense now that he’s finally on the field rather than watching from the sideline.

He knows he’s facing an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster. The Eagles likely will only keep four running backs, and three of the spots already pretty much belong to Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles and Corey Clement.

The other four backs in camp are Adams, Donnel Pumphrey, Wendell Smallwood and Matt Jones. So far, Pumphrey, who is five inches smaller and 40 pounds lighter than Adams, has had the best camp of the four. But the true test will come in the Eagles’ four preseason games, beginning Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Linc.

Adams is a powerful runner with good speed – he ran a 4.48 forty at his pre-draft pro day, despite the hairline fracture. He rushed for 1,430 yards last year, 994 of which came after contact.

The Eagles thought enough of him to give him the highest bonus — $55,000 — of any of their undrafted free agents.

But his upright running style could negate his power at this level. Most importantly, he needs to convince the Eagles he can be a reliable receiver, which is a must for a running back in their offensive system.

Adams had just 13 catches last year at Notre Dame and only 41 in three seasons. In Tuesday’s practice, he dropped three catchable balls.

“They didn’t throw the ball to me much my last two years [at Notre Dame],’’ Adams said. “But my freshman year, they put us out empty and wide and threw to us. I’m just trying to recall that and use that to my advantage.’’

>> READ MORE: Kamar Aiken wants to prove he’s not a one-hit wonder

Earlier in the week, offensive coordinator Mike Groh was given an opportunity to say something nice about Adams and passed. “I think it’s too early to say right now,’’ he said. “We have four games to go and we’ll have plenty of opportunities to evaluate him.’’

The most likely scenerio for Adams is that he’ll spend his rookie season on the team’s practice squad, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

It would be similar to what the Eagles did last year when they put Pumphrey, a fourth-round pick who struggled last summer after breaking the FBS career rushing record at San Diego State, on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

“That’s what it’s about when you draft young players, invest in them,’’ Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday. “Sometimes it’s going to take a couple of years – two, three, even four years, to really see their full talent and how they grow with the offense.”

The traffic at running back figures to be a lot less next year. Sproles is 35 and plans to retire after this season. Ajayi is entering the final year of his contract, and no matter how well he plays this season, it’s unlikely the Eagles will re-sign him.

They’re going to have to cut some salary cap corners to make room for Carson Wentz’s blockbuster second contract, and the running back position figures to be one of the places they’ll do that.

The combined 2019 salary cap cost for Clement, Pumphrey and Adams would be just $2.1 million.

But Adams isn’t ready to concede a roster spot yet. He’s hoping to play well in the four preseason games and convince the coaching staff he can help them in 2018.

“I’m just trying to learn from being out there,’’ he said. “Learning from my mistakes. Learning from other’s mistakes. Each day, I have to learn something new and get better.

“I’m blessed to be a part of this organization. I knew God had a plan for me. I’m here now. I’m healthy. So everything is in the past and I’m ready to move forward.”