Skip to main content
Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

Will Sproles Continue To Be The Top Back?

In 13 NFL seasons, Darren Sproles has been his team's leading rusher just once, which was as a member of the New Orleans Saints in 2011. Could that change in 2016?

Sproles has totaled 285 rushing yards on 59 attempts, good for an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Sproles has always been one of the most versatile players on the team. He gained 128 receiving yards and a touchdown in the win over Pittsburgh. He also has two punt returns of 40-or-more yards, and ranks third in the NFL in punt return average.

Sproles currently trails teammate Ryan Mathews in rushing yards, but he has recently made a run to pull ahead. Matthews has 287 yards for 76 carries with five touchdowns on the season. In the last two games, however, Sproles accounted 143 rushing yards for 28 carries while Mathews has been limited to 25 yards on nine carries.

With Sproles' recent success, head coach Doug Pederson admitted this week, "It's hard to take him off the field right now."

"By stats and by what you're seeing, I would say that Darren is the No. 1 back right now. Ryan is still a big part (of the offense). ... Obviously, we haven't hung our hat on one guy, but we tend to lean more toward Darren Sproles," Pederson explained.

Last season, Sproles finished with 138 touches on offense (83 rushes, 55 receptions). He's got 84 at the midway point of 2016.

"I feel pretty good. The workload really hasn't had me sore or anything like that," said the 33-year-old Sproles.

Will Sproles continue his current role for the second half of the season? He was on the field for at least 80 percent of the offensive snaps in each of the past two contests.

"I mean, that's a lot. We talked about it coming out of the Dallas game and we've just got to make sure we're doing the right thing. We've got to make sure, with Darren, (that we are) keeping him available, especially as the season wears on. Keep him healthy and keep him going," said Pederson.

On Sunday, the Eagles take on the Falcons who have the seventh-ranked defense in rushing yards allowed per game at 91.2.

"Dominate the line of scrimmage because they're front four is pretty good. That's what we have to do to get us started," Sproles said.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content