USA Today Sports

Can the Eagles still count on Darren Sproles?

Eliot Shorr-Parks
October 19, 2018 - 7:56 am

The idea of Eagles running back Darren Sproles, even at 35-years old, is still intriguing. 

He can still cut like he used to. He still has elite speed for the position. He can still block and he is still dangerous in the open field. 

What can’t he seem to do? Stay healthy. 

It has been five games and almost six weeks since Sproles suffered what was originally called a “slight” hamstring injury by head coach Doug Pederson. Since then the team has never fully committed to the idea, at least publicly, that Sproles’ injury was a long-term one. He has never been called week-to-week. Instead, Pederson keeps the door open during his weekly press conferences that Sproles could return very soon. 

Even this week, with the Eagles preparing for the Carolina Panthers, Sproles was called “day-to-day” by Pederson. 

Then, as has been the case throughout his injury, Sproles has yet to practice this week. Despite the continued optimism the team displays at the podium, it appears once again Sproles will not play this Sunday. 

Assuming Sproles is once again sidelined, the “slight” hamstring injury he suffered will now have cost him six games. Over the last two seasons he will have played in just four games, totaling 71 yards on the ground and 11 yards through the air. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since 2016. 

As intriguing as Sproles’ skillset still is, the Eagles might need to accept the fact they can’t count on him this season. It isn’t impossible that Sproles could come back and contribute at some point this season. He shouldn’t be completely counted out, considering how many times he has proven people wrong throughout his career. 

It doesn’t seem likely, however, given what the team has seen from him since the start of the 2017 season. 

That harsh reality is one that the Eagles might need to accept that going forward, especially with the trade deadline inching closer and they project how they are going to rebound from 3-3 to compete once again for a Super Bowl title.

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at!