It’s a good thing Miles Sanders is healthy. Because not only do the Eagles desperately need him, he also can’t take another Sunday afternoon watching football at home.
Sanders missed the Eagles’ opener Sunday with a hamstring injury, so he had to watch his team blow a 17-0 lead and there was nothing he could do about it.
“Very difficult,” he said. “I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t. I was actually sitting on my couch. It wasn’t a good feeling at all. I didn’t like it at all. But all I can say is just trusting the training staff and the decision to keep me out an extra week [was] just to get as healthy as possible because they’d rather have me for 15 than just one.”
Sanders, who led all NFL rookies with 1,327 scrimmage yards last year, will make his 2020 debut this Sunday at the Linc when the Eagles face the Rams.
He returned to practice this week after initially hurting his hamstring on Aug. 19, just a few days into training camp.
“Hamstring injuries, as everybody knows, are very tricky and unpredictable,” Sanders said after practice Friday. “I got it as close to 100 percent as possible. I could have played last week, I felt good, that was the first week I actually felt good and stuff so they didn’t want to throw me in that same week.. What’s important is that I’m playing this week.”
With Sanders and Lane Johnson out Sunday, the Eagles’ offense sputtered. The run game was ineffective, Carson Wentz was sacked eight times and the Eagles failed to score a point on any of their last 11 drives, averaging just nine yards per possession during that span.
The Eagles need Sanders, and he said he’s ready to take on a full workload.
Asked if he expects his touches and snaps to be limited, he said, “I hope not.”
He added: “I feel 100 percent, I’m ready to go. But like I said I’m willing to do whatever’s in the best interest for me and for the team. I’m ready to do whatever.”
Sanders does so much for this offense as a runner, a receiver and a blocker.
He showed last year an incredible amount of potential. He goes into Year 2 trying to prove he belongs in the conversation when it comes to the best backs in the NFL.
“Personally, my main goal is just to get respect,” he said. “I want to be noticed as one of those top backs because I believe I am and I believe I will be and that just comes with me just grinding every day, just being humble and just working hard every day. I know all that stuff will pay off and Sundays just let it loose.”
There was just something missing Sunday.
Sanders doesn’t just bring talent and playmaking, he brings energy that the Eagles struggled to replace.
“Extremely excited [for Sunday], and I think everybody else on the team can say that, too,” he said. “Just trying to bring that energy this week. That different spark to the offense. Just trying to do whatever I can to help get us a W this week.”