Sunday’s Wild Card matchup against the Chicago Bears will mark Darren Sproles’ first playoff game as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. But even if the Eagles lose in Chicago, it might not mark Sproles’ last game in the NFL.
Check out this note from NFL insider Chris Mortensen:
Darren Sproles, 35, is playing his first playoff game today as an @Eagles player but what was supposed to be his final season may not be final. He has mentioned to teammates and staff he seriously could want another year in NFL. Eagles are 4-1 since he returned from injury.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 6, 2019
The 35-year-old Sproles has shown that he still has some gas left in the tank. Look no further than his Week 16 performance against the Texans.
Sproles is averaging a respectable 4.1 yards per carry this season with 29 rushes for 120 yards and one touchdown. His 10.7 yards per reception, meanwhile, is the third best mark of his career. His 8.3 yards per punt return is also decent.
Of course, the concern with bringing Sproles back is if he’ll be able to physically hold up. Sproles turns 36 years old in June and we already saw him miss 10 regular games due to a lingering hamstring injury. Sproles got hurt after the Eagles’ Week 1 game and was originally scheduled to come back in Week 10 before suffering a setback that ultimately pushed his return to Week 13.
Sproles is set to be a free agent this offseason, just like he was last year. The Eagles ultimately re-signed him following the 2018 NFL Draft. Sproles carried an affordable $1.43 million cap hit this season and one would think the Eagles will be able to bring him back on the cheap again, assuming Sproles is still interested in playing.
Among the reasons Sproles might want to return is that he’s only 163 yards shy of moving into sole possession of fifth place for all-purpose career yards. Tim Brown currently holds that spot with 19,682.
When recently asked if he’d be interested in having Sproles return, here’s what Eagles head coach Doug Pederson had to say:
I think Darren Sproles would be a great addition. He’s a great leader. He works hard. He’s a great mentor to a lot of young players. I think anybody would love to have a Darren Sproles. I would.
Josh Adams, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Boston Scott are currently the only Eagles running backs under contract beyond this season. The team will also likely sign practice squad running back Donnel Pumphrey to a futures contract. Jay Ajayi, who tore his ACL in Week 5, is set to be a free agent ... as is Sproles.
Should the Eagles bring Darren Sproles back for the 2019 season?
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