EAGLES

Sirianni hopeful Sanders can return for playoffs

EAGLES

The Eagles are hopeful Miles Sanders will be able to return for their wild-card round game in two weeks.

Sanders broke his hand last weekend against the Giants and sat out the win over Washington this past Sunday. He isn’t expected to play in the regular-season finale Saturday night against the Cowboys.

But head coach Nick Sirianni said he’s hopeful Sanders will be able to play in the Eagles’ playoff opener, which will be Jan. 15, 16 or 17 in Tampa, Arizona, Los Angeles or Dallas.

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“I’m not thinking Miles is going to be up this week – I’m not ruling him out – but hopefully he’d be up the following week,” Sirianni said. “(We) didn’t put him on IR because you wanted to get him back in that three-week span. 

“I know he’s progressing well. I’m not putting a timetable on him, but we’re hopeful we can get him back for the opening round of the playoffs.”

Before his injury, Sanders was enjoying one of the most productive stretches of his career, with 454 rushing yards and a 6.1 average in the Eagles’ previous five games.

Assuming he doesn’t play against Dallas – and why would he? – Sanders will finish the season with 754 rushing yards and a 5.5 rushing average, highest by an Eagles running back (minimum 100 attempts) since Steve Van Buren averaged 5.8 in 1945 and 3rd-highest among NFL running backs this year behind Tony Pollard (5.53) and Nick Chubb (5.52).

 

He’d be only the seventh player in NFL history to rush for at least 750 yards with at least a 4.5 average in each of his first three seasons. The others are Hall of Famers Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Gale Sayers and Barry Sanders as well as Chubb and Abner Haynes.

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The Dallas game will be the ninth Sanders has missed over the last two years, and he’s left four others early. He hasn’t played more than six straight games since his rookie year.

Sirianni also revealed that linebacker Davion Taylor, the Eagles’ 3rd-round pick last year, is out for the season with the knee injury he suffered against the Saints back on Nov. 21. Taylor went on Injured Reserve three days later.

Taylor started six games and played 250 snaps this year and did some good things during that stretch. Taylor has been slowed by injuries in both of his NFL seasons and has finished each of the last two seasons on IR.

Sirianni also said he had no update on Brandon Brooks, who has been on IR since suffering a torn pectoral muscle in Week 2 against the 49ers. Brooks, a three-time Pro Bowler, has missed the last 14 games.