Darren Sproles

Injury Updates: Packers, Adams, Cardinals

No surprise here, but Davante Adams will miss another game this week, per the Packers‘ final injury report. This marks the wide receiver’s third-straight missed contest as he rehabs from a toe ailment.

Adams had a strong start to the season with 25 receptions for 378 yards before going down and seemed on his way to matching last year’s 111/1,386 posting. The Packers were able to get past the Lions without him and they’ll aim to do the same against the Raiders.

Here’s the latest on other bumps and bruises from around the NFL:

  • Uh oh – Cardinals running back David Johnson is dealing with a new injury. After tweaking his back against Atlanta, Johnson will be a game time decision thanks to a sore ankle, head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters.
  • The Cowboys will have offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, wide receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, and cornerback Byron Jones are set to play on Sunday against the Eagles, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. All five are listed as questionable for the game, but they took the practice field and Friday and should be good to go.
  • The Eagles, on the other hand, will try to fly without: linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle), wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (foot), cornerback Avonte Maddox (concussion/neck), tackle Jason Peters (knee), and running back Darren Sproles (quadricep).
  • Wide receiver Kenny Stills is set to return on Sunday against the Colts, per the club’s injury report.

Injury Updates: Rudolph, Bausby, Hicks, Gallman, Sproles

Some key injuries around the league from today’s action:

  • There was a scary scene in Pittsburgh, when Mason Rudolph was knocked unconscious by a hit from Ravens safety Earl Thomas. Rudolph was knocked out cold, and was visibly disoriented even after waking up. He was diagnosed with a concussion, and taken to a local hospital as a precaution. Fortunately, Rudolph was cleared to go home from the hospital and is “doing well,” a source told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges took over for Rudolph, and he looked surprisingly competent. The Samford product, recently signed from the practice squad after Ben Roethlisberger‘s injury, will start against the Chargers next week if Rudolph can’t go.
  • Speaking of scary injuries, Broncos cornerback De’Vante Bausby suffered one as well. Bausby was taken to a hospital, and Denver initially said they were waiting on MRI results for his “head and neck area before determining whether it’s safe for him to fly home or stay a night for observation,” according to a tweet from Mike Klis of Denver 9 News. Klis notes that head coach Vic Fangio said he was told Bausby “cleared the serious stage,” but wouldn’t say much more. Fortunately, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic later tweeted that Bausby had been released from the hospital and would make the flight back to Denver with the team. Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth tweeted that Bausby was diagnosed with a cervical sprain. Hopefully everything turns out alright for the former AAF star, who was recently inserted into the starting lineup.
  • The Bears lost as big favorites to the Raiders in London, and their day got even worse. Star defensive lineman Akiem Hicks hurt his elbow, and it doesn’t look good. Speaking after the game, head coach Matt Nagy didn’t sound overly optimistic. “I don’t think it is, but I don’t – again, I’ll get into more and find out more details,” Nagy said, when asked if the injury was season-ending, via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Hicks made the Pro Bowl last year, and is a key cog in Chicago’s elite defense. Fortunately they have their bye in Week 6, but it sounds like Hicks is going to miss some time.
  • The Giants’ running back situation just got even more dire. Of course, they were missing workhorse Saquon Barkley, who is sidelined with an ankle injury. Wayne Gallman took over for Barkley as their lead back, and he was quickly ruled out with a concussion during their Week 5 loss to the Vikings. New York plays on Thursday Night Football against the Patriots this week, so Gallman will have a tough time getting cleared in just a few days. There’s been some talk Barkley could return for that game, although that still seems unlikely. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones will be looking to pull off a shorthanded miracle.
  • Eagles running back Darren Sproles reached a new milestone in his illustrious career, but then got nicked up shortly after. During Philly’s win over the Jets Sproles moved into fifth place on the all-time all purpose yards list, but then left the game with a quad injury. Sproles hasn’t been playing too big of a role so far this season as the Eagles look to keep the 36-year-old fresh, but this is still something to monitor. There was no word on the severity right away.

Contract Details: Sproles, Kendricks, Hawks

A look at the details on recent deals from around the NFL:

  • Darren Sproles, RB (Eagles): One year, $1.33MM. $600K fully guaranteed, including a $300K signing bonus. $650K in performance bonuses, classified as NLTBE incentives, exist in Sproles’ contract for a Pro Bowl appearance and unspecified yardage totals, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets.
  • Lance Kendricks, TE (Patriots): One year, $1.02MM. Kendricks’ $50K signing bonus represents this deal’s only guarantees. If he makes the team, he will earn a $930K veteran minimum base salary. Kendricks, who can also earn $40K worth of per-game roster bonuses, will count $735K toward New England’s cap, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets.
  • Earl Mitchell, DT (Seahawks): One year, $930K. $90K signing bonus. Mitchell will carry a $735K cap number, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com notes.

Eagles Re-Sign Darren Sproles

Darren Sproles is coming back for at least one more year. The veteran is signing a one-year deal with the Eagles, the team announced on Twitter. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the deal has a base value of $1.03MM and includes a $300K signing bonus. Plus, $600K of his base pay is guaranteed.

We heard back in May that Sproles was interested in returning for one more year, but that he wanted to play with one of the teams he already had familiarity with, meaning the Chargers, Saints, and Eagles. After Sproles only played in three games due to a broken arm and torn ACL in the Eagles’ Super Bowl-winning season, he said 2018 would be his last year in the league. But injuries ruined last year for him too, and he missed ten games.

All the health issues left a bad taste in his mouth, and he didn’t want to go out like that. “That’s my whole thing,” Sproles said recently when speaking to Dr. David Chao of the Pro Football Doc podcast. “I want a full year. I want to get up to top-four or top-five in all-purpose yards, like ever. Right now, I’m number six. If I would have played a full year last year, I’d be number four right now.”

Sproles will now be joining a crowded backfield in Philadelphia, with Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Corey Clement, and Josh Adams (among others) already in tow. In a tweet, Tim McManus of ESPN.com writes that the “coaching staff had been keeping door open for [Sproles].” He might not play quite as big of a role as he did in the past, but Sproles will still be a valuable change-of-pace back who can catch passes well out of the backfield, and he’ll be a nice veteran presence in a mostly young group.

Now Sproles will get the chance to go out with the full 16-game season that he wants, as well as to climb the all-purpose yards leaderboards. He’s 36 now, but he’s still been pretty good when he’s been healthy the last couple of years. Last year, Sproles carried the ball 29 times for 120 yards and a touchdown, and he dded 15 receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned ten punts for 83 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Sproles, Coleman, Broncos, Raiders

Veteran free agent running back Darren Sproles has been limited to only nine games over the past two seasons. Therefore, as the 35-year-old continues to search for his next gig, he’s seemingly focused on two things: playing in all 16 games and climbing up the all-time lists.

“That’s my whole thing,” Sproles told Dr. David Chao of the Pro Football Doc podcast (via Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philly). “I want a full year. I want to get up to top-four or top-five in all-purpose yards, like ever. Right now, I’m number six. If I would have played a full year last year, I’d be number four right now.”

Sproles currently has 19,520 all-purpose yards, trailing Jerry Rice (23,546), Brian Mitchell (23,330), Walter Payton (21,803), Emmitt Smith (21,564), and Tim Brown (19,682) on the all-time list.

Let’s check out some assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • Former first-round wideout Corey Coleman has compiled less than 800 receiving yards since entering the league, and he’s played with four teams in three seasons. However, the Giants receiver remains confident. “You haven’t seen the best of Corey Coleman yet,” the receiver told Art Stapleton of NorthJersey.com. “I feel like I’m getting better and better, and I’m just trying to stay humble and do what they ask of me. I’m happy to be here, and I’m not worried about what happened and didn’t happen in the past. I don’t look back in time. I’m comfortable with this team and in this offense, and I’m excited to show everything people thought I could do and I know I can still do in this league. Nothing’s given to you, and it’s my job to prove it.”
  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post gave his early projections for the Broncos‘ 53-man roster. The writer believes the team will keep a pair of quarterbacks (Drew Lock and Kevin Hogan) behind starter Joe Flacco, forcing Brett Rypien to the practice squad. Other notable predictions include the decision to keep two fullbacks (Andy Janovich and George Aston) and cut former second-round defensive end DeMarcus Walker.
  • Raiders first-round safety Johnathan Abram is already making a name for himself in OTAs. As Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area writes, the rookie has been working alongside Karl Joseph as a starter, and his confidence has been noticed by his teammates. “I’m always going back and forth a lot. He likes to talk, and I love it,” linebacker Tahir Whitehead said. “He’s a young guy coming in showing how confident he is. I love that. We can build off of that. We need more guys with belief in their skill set and bringing that attitude to the entire team. That’s going to take us a long way.”

Darren Sproles Eyeing Eagles, Saints, Chargers?

It was about two months ago that free agent running back Darren Sproles said he’d make a decision regarding his NFL future by May. Well, it sounds like the 35-year-old may need a bit more time making a decision.

During an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Sproles would be willing to wait for the right offer, even if it comes during the latter part of the summer (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). Furthermore, Schefter hinted that the running back would prefer to play for one of his former teams. Specifically, that’d mean the Eagles, Saints, or Chargers are atop Sproles’ list. Of course, Schefter also notes that the running back would be open to other opportunities.

After a broken arm and a torn ACL limited him to only three games during the Eagles’ Super Bowl-winning 2017 campaign, Sproles said the 2018 season would be his final year in the NFL. However, Sproles ended up being hampered by injuries once again, limiting him to only six regular season games. He was still relatively productive when he was on the field; he paired 120 rushing yards (and a rushing touchdown) with 15 receptions for 160 yards and two scores.

Of course, Sproles continues to get older; if he plays in 2019, he’d be the second-oldest player at his position (behind Frank Gore). While any team would take a chance on a savvy veteran who possesses some pass-catching prowess, it’s uncertain if any of Sproles’ former teams would have interest.

The Eagles have a crowded depth chart that features Jordan HowardCorey Clement, Josh Adams, and Wendell Smallwood. The Saints brought in Latavius Murray to serve as Alvin Kamara‘s backup, but the team lacks experience behind that duo. The Chargers’ trio of Melvin GordonAustin Ekeler, and Justin Jackson seem to have a solid hold on the top-three spots, but Sproles could theoretically play a return role alongside Desmond King in Los Angeles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Darren Sproles To Make Retirement Decision In May

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 ClementWendell 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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles RB Darren Sproles Could Play In 2019?

Although he had previously declared his intention to retire following the 2018 campaign, Eagles running back Darren Sproles has indicated to teammates and coaches that he’ll “seriously” consider extending his career by at least one more season, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

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 this season, but he’s played well when 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 season.

“I think Darren Sproles would be a great addition [in 2019],” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said last month. “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 mean, I would.”

On the season, Sproles has 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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Eagles, Sproles, Dolphins, Redskins

The Eagles will have plenty of roster decisions to make heading into the 2019 season. Two of the names at the top of the list include veteran running Darren Sproles and oft-injured linebacker Jordan Hicks, Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com writes.

After originally declaring this as his final season, Sproles has looked like a vintage version of himself, leading many to wonder if he would come back for his 15th NFL season. One person who would love to have the pass-catching back return is Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.

“I think Darren Sproles would be a great addition” for 2019, Pederson said. “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 mean, I would.”

He didn’t offer the same ringing endorsement for Hicks. Despite being a noted playmaker who ranks third on the team in tackles in 2018, the Texas Longhorns product has missed 21 games in his first four seasons, including four this season.

“I’ll worry about the roster in the spring when I get to the spring,” Pederson said. “Jordan’s been a big part of our success here and he helped us win the game last week and he’ll help us win another on Sunday.”

Here’s more from around the East:

  • Sticking with the Eagles, thanks once again to Nick Foles, the team is currently in the fight for the last playoff spot in the NFC. Should they make it, there will undoubtedly be a contingent of fans hoping Philly will bring back the veteran in 2019. However, that is unlikely to happen, writes Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Brandt. With Foles on the books for $20MM next year, it is much more likely the Eagles do not exercise his option and make him a free agent. If he goes on another magical run in January, however, every option has to be on the table.
  • Dolphins vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum is not expected back with the team in 2019, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. The move would end his four-year run with the team. Head coach Adam Gase is expected to be retained. Salguero also has heard a few of the names as possible replacements include Dan Marino and Dawn Aponte.
  • Following the release of D.J. Swearinger, one of the Redskins’ top needs this season has quickly become safety, Ben Standig of NBC Sports writes. Coupled with the potential departure of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Redskins would be down both of their safeties heading into 2019. Should they address the issue in the draft, the team could target Alabama’s Deionte Thompson or Virginia’s Juan Thornhill, two of the top-ranked prospects at free and strong safety, respectively.

Eagles RB Darren Sproles Suffers Setback, Will Miss Multiple Weeks

Sunday, 8:55am: Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Sproles is expected to miss multiple weeks (one estimate suggested an absence of three to four weeks). The Eagles will be cautious with him so that when he returns to the field, he will be back for good. The way Sproles’ injury was handled by the team’s medical staff may be cause for concern, as we detailed yesterday.

Thursday, 11:39am: Earlier this week, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said he expected Darren Sproles to play on Sunday versus the Cowboys. Unfortunately, those plans were derailed after the running back aggravated his hamstring injury (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). 

Sproles has not been on the field since hurting his hamstring in practice prior to the Eagles’ Week 2 game. Sproles showed significant improvement this week and the team believed that Sproles would be able to resume punt-return duties against the Cowboys. Instead of facing Dallas and joining Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement in the backfield rotation, Sproles’ outlook for the rest of the season is now in question.

Sproles’ 2017 was shortened by multiple injuries in September, meaning that he has played in just three games over the last two years. He already cashed in on a $1MM guarantee for this year, but Sproles is eager to resume the form that earned him three straight Pro Bowl nods between 2014-2016.

On the plus side, Eagles tackle Lane Johnson resumed practice this week after recovering from a Grade 2 MCL sprain. Pederson is hopeful that Johnson will play, but that would mark a faster-than-usual turnaround from the injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.