Free agent running back Darren Sproles will make a decision as to whether he is going to retire or continue playing in 2019 sometime in May, as David Weinberg of the Press of Atlantic City reports. If Sproles does return, it sounds as if he could suit up once again for the Eagles, as the diminutive back indicated he has been in discussions with the club about coming back for one more season.
The Eagles just traded for former Bears RB Jordan Howard in an effort to bolster their RB depth chart, but presumably the team could still find a spot for Sproles as a third-down back and return man. Of course, the Eagles are also rostering Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Josh Adams, and the club could also elect to use a high draft choice on a running back, so perhaps Sproles is waiting to see what Philadelphia’s roster looks like after the draft before making his final decision.
Sproles originally hinted that 2017 would be his final NFL campaign, but backtracked on that sentiment even before multiple injuries ended his season early that year. Sproles not only suffered a torn ACL, but a broken arm during the first month of the 2017 season, which concluded with Sproles having played in just three games.
After inking a one-year deal that contained $1MM in guarantees for 2018, Sproles muddled through another injury-riddled campaign. A hamstring injury limited him to just six appearances last year, but he played well when he was on the field. Additionally, the Eagles won four of five games and snuck into the playoffs after Sproles returned, which could motivate the 35-year-old to return for a 15th NFL campaign.
In the 2018 regular season, Sproles rushed for 120 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries while adding 15 receptions for 160 yards and two scores in the passing game. Among backs with fewer than 25 catches, Sproles was the league’s 10th-most effective receiver in DYAR, Football Outsiders’ receiving metric. He was not as successful in the playoffs, though, as he put up just 25 yards on 16 carries and 35 yards on five catches in Philadelphia’s two postseason contests.
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