Doug Pederson on Wednesday morning admitted he might need to manage Miles Sanders’ workload to begin the 2020 season.
Sanders, 23, missed most of training camp this summer after suffering a hamstring injury.
“I think it goes back to last year when he missed some time and we managed him to get him ready to play,” Pederson said. “I think that is a possibility. We’ll get him through this week, see how he does and see where he’s at on Sunday."
Pederson on Wednesday said Sanders is day to day (along with Lane Johnson) and will be on the practice field later in the afternoon. But it also doesn’t sound like Sanders is going to be a full participant or that he’s 100 percent just yet.
While this news obviously has major fantasy football implications, it also has major implications for the Eagles in Week 1.
Going into this season, expectations are extremely high for Sanders, a second-round pick last season. Sanders didn’t really take over as the Eagles’ top running back until Jordan Howard went down with a stinger and Sanders still managed to set an Eagles rookie record for scrimmage yards with 1,327.
A healthy Sanders in 2020 has the potential to put up 2,000 scrimmage yards. But a hamstring injury can sometimes linger. That’s the fear here.
Heck, back in July, Duce Staley was talking about unleashing Sanders on the NFL, making him a true bell cow back for the Eagles.
“I’m excited about Miles,” Staley said in July. “I’m excited about him handling the full load. I don’t see Miles as a guy you have to monitor his touches, 15 here, maybe 15 rushes, five passes, no, I don’t see him that way. I think you put him in and you let him go.”
Sanders began training camp on the field but was listed as week to week with a lower body injury back on Aug. 19.
While Sanders might not be 100 percent, he’s a tough player. In the playoff loss against Seattle in January, Sanders went into the game with an ankle injury, sprained his MCL during the game, and kept on playing.
Aside from his own injury status, another fear is about the offensive line in front of Sanders. With the Pro Bowl right tackle’s status also up in the air, the Eagles might have a tough time with Washington’s good defensive line in Week 1.
If Sanders’ workload is limited, expect Boston Scott to be the next player in. He was able to handle that role quite well down the stretch in the 2019 season. The Eagles also have Corey Clement and newcomer Jason Huntley on the roster at running back.