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Sproles Is NFL's Best Punt Returner


He waited until his 10th NFL season to get his first invite to the Pro Bowl. Now, Darren Sproles is headed back to the all-star game for a second straight season as a return specialist.

Sproles was one of three Eagles named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday night along with defensive end Fletcher Cox and tackle Jason Peters. With this nomination, Sproles is just the second player in franchise history to make multiple Pro Bowl appearances as a specialist joining long snapper Jon Dorenbos.

"My first Pro Bowl was last year, but to actually get one means a lot, really," Sproles said. "When I first started off, I always came close. Then after that, I never really thought about the Pro Bowl that much. Coach (Dave) Fipp and then my whole return team, they bust their butts for me. When we're in the game, they really go all out for me."

In light of the 2016 Pro Bowl announcement, we honor the three Eagles who have been selected this year. View the full gallery here...

Sproles leads the league in punt return average (12.4), punt return yards (446) and punt return touchdowns (2). He is the only player to ever suit up for the Eagles and have multiple seasons with at least two punt return touchdowns.

In the Week 3 win over the New York Jets, the team's first of the year, Sproles was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the third time in his two seasons with the Eagles. Sproles scored on a career-long 89-yard punt return, the second-longest in team history.

Sproles' second punt return touchdown keyed the Week 13 win at New England. This time, it was an 83-yard return that came in the third quarter, which is the sixth-longest in team history. Sproles finished that game with 215 all-purpose yards.

"I really feel like when we get return touchdowns, it is a boost," Sproles said. "It's like right after we get that touchdown, that's when the team starts clicking."

The 5-6, 190-pound Sproles is 11th in NFL history (and second among active players) with 17,794 all-purpose yards. Since 2007, Sproles is first among all running backs with 4,070 yards receiving and 28 receiving touchdowns.

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