Eagles coach Doug Pederson was convinced Wednesday that running back Darren Sproles would return to the game Sunday night against the Cowboys. The veteran running back, who announced in July that he plans to retire after this season, has injured the hamstring after an inaugural game in Philadelphia and has not played since.
"He feels good. We will simply mix it up. . . This is a great opportunity for him, "said Pederson. told reporters Wednesday, adding that Sproles would be an important part of the team's offensive game plan.
Then the Eagles trained and things turned south: Sproles aggravated the injury to the hamstring. According to Adam Schefter of ESPNhe should miss the Sunday night game and is "very disappointed".
This is a last season to forget for the Sproles, aged 35, who also missed most of the 2017 season after breaking his arm and tearing the ACL in the same match in the third week of the season against the Giants. In a letter to the fans announcing his intention to retire, he said he did not want to go out like this.
"The return of any injury is difficult – especially a knee injury for half a square. I wondered if I would come back the same, if I still had speed, "he wrote. "It's essential, because I do not want to go out and get hit. Once I started to rehabilitate myself and run again, I could say that I was good and ready for another healthy year. "
Three-time Pro Bowler who has carved a long career in the NFL although he's only 5-foot-6, Sproles owns the sixth total of versatile yards in the history of the NFL.
Running the Eagles has not been an important factor this season. Jay Ajayi (released with a torn ACL for the year), Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement and more recently, Josh Adams have all had the chance to carry the ball. Philadelphia ranks 18th in the NFL for two rushing yards per game (106.6) and the DVOA in the race, a measure of efficiency adjusted to the situation and the opposition. No half-offensive has had a run of more than 22 yards this season. Last season, LeGarrette Blount (now with the Lions) had five litters of this type.
There is also the question of who will return the punts for the Eagles. Anticipating perhaps the return of Sproles, this week Philadelphia cut DeAndre Carter – who was taking care of the direct return in the absence of Sproles – and he was taken over by the Texans. This task could now be entrusted to the new team, the Golden Tate, which brought back 92 kickoffs in an NFL career that began in 2010. Tate averages 10.6 yards per return, making it the eighth Ranked in the NFL since 2010 among players with at least 50 returns. and is slightly better than the Sproles brand of 10.1. However, Tate's last run was over two shots in one season in 2015.
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