Eagles rookie running back Miles Sanders — who is still dealing with a hamstring injury — will not participate in Philadelphia’s mandatory minicamp practices this week. Prior to Tuesday’s on-field drills, Doug Pederson gave the following update on Sanders
“I’m still going to hold Miles this week. Obviously it hurts a little bit that he’s not getting the physical rep, but I don’t want to risk him any further. We’ll wait until [training] camp and get him out there. He’s getting a lot of mental. Duce [Staley] is drilling him and grilling him in the classroom. He’s getting a lot of mental reps on the field.”
Being cautious is smart but this is still a disappointing development. Sanders has already missed the entirety of OTAs and now he’s going to miss all of minicamp as well. The only practices he’s participated in were the three days of Eagles rookie minicamp back in early May.
Missing spring practice isn’t the end of the world for Sanders. But it’d be ideal for the Penn State alumnus to be out there on the field getting more comfortable in the Eagles’ offense.
Ever since the Eagles selected Sanders with the No. 53 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, there’s been thought he’ll end up being Philly’s primary running back this season. That might turn out to be true but missing spring practices isn’t helping his case.
The feeling here is that Jordan Howard is still going to receive a bulk of the Eagles’ carries, at least early in the 2019 campaign. Sanders could eventually steal playing time away from Howard but it’s not just going to be handed to the rookie on a silver platter.
Sanders’ absence has been a bummer because he would've one of the more interesting players to watch in spring drills. Hopefully the Eagles’ caution with him will pay off and he’ll be full go for training camp in late July.