Eagles rookie running back Miles Sanders will be held out of practice this week, head coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday.
That means Sanders will miss the entirety of full-team spring practices because of a nagging hamstring injury. The reasons for the Eagles’ holding Sanders out of practice have been described to me as precautionary.
Still, missing all 10 OTA practices and now three mandatory minicamp practices is not ideal, especially for a rookie.
Obviously, it hurts a little bit that he’s not getting the physical rep,” Pederson said. “But I don’t want to risk him any further. We’ll wait until camp to get him out there. He’s getting a lot of mental reps. (Running backs coach) Duce (Staley) is grilling him and drilling him in the classroom and he’s getting a lot of mental reps on the field.
The Eagles drafted Sanders out of Penn State in the second round (No. 53) this spring. Sanders was able to participate in the three-day rookie minicamp last month but hasn’t been able to practice since the veterans arrived for OTAs. Because of that, we haven’t been able to get any glimpses of a depth chart or any early idea of how the Eagles plan on splitting up the workload between their running backs.
Corey Clement (knee) still isn’t practicing either. So this spring, the Eagles have had Jordan Howard and then a bunch of guys battling for the fourth and (likely) final running back roster spot on the field.
There’s no doubt that missing this practice time will hurt the 22-year-old running back, but Sanders has the luxury of taking things slow. There’s the old saying, “You can’t make the club from the tub,” but Sanders was a second-round pick. They aren’t going to cut him. The team is going to make sure he’s 100 percent before he’s back on the field. A hamstring is one of those injuries that can linger for a long time if it doesn’t have sufficient time to heal.
All Sanders can do is to rest, heal and learn the playbook. Sanders said during rookie minicamp that he really clicks with Staley’s coaching style. It’ll be up to Sanders to do as much as he can away from practice and be ready to go on the field in late July for training camp. He’ll need to play a little catch-up.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.