He didn’t do it this offseason, but in years past, Zach Ertz has gone to San Diego to work out with Darren Sproles.
Ertz joked he used to visit Southern California on a mission to figure out what kind of magic potion Sproles drank to keep him young.
His attempts proved futile.
“There’s no magic potion, just hard work,” Ertz said with a smile. “Hard work is the only potion he’s got.”
I don’t know if I’m buying it.
I think Sproles either has some magic potion or visits a fountain of youth or made some sort of deal with the Devil.
Because we’re a week into training camp and 35-year-old Sproles, coming off a broken arm and a torn ACL, looks like he’s still in his mid-20s. It really looks like the injuries never happened.
Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised by this. None of us should be surprised by this.
Carson Wentz has known Sproles since he was drafted in 2016. That’s long enough to know that "Mighty Mouse" isn’t like the rest of us.
It’s remarkable,” Wentz said. “I mean, it’s remarkable but at the same time, it doesn’t surprise any of us. We know Darren, we’ve seen him year in and year out, and obviously a setback last year, but he looks like he’s healthy. And you guys see it. We love that guy and we know he’s one of the hardest workers on this team and really in the league. He’s done it year in and year out so we all kind of sit in awe, but at the end of the day, it’s Darren, so what do you expect?
Yeah, this is pretty much what we should expect.
We saw Sproles in only three games last season before he went down, but in 2016, he accounted for over 1,100 all-purpose yards.
Coming into this season, which he has already said will be his last in the NFL, Sproles has 19,155 all-purpose yards, which is good for eighth in NFL history. In a blog post earlier this month, Sproles said he has his eyes set on Tim Brown at No. 5.
Sproles would need 528 all-purpose yards to pass Brown (see story). Based on what we’ve seen from Sproles this summer, that seems possible.
The guy is just a freak athlete,” Corey Clement said. “He takes care of his body the best way he possibly can. He’s still running around making jukes like he’s 24. That’s a blessing to come back off an injury like that and still look like it never happened to him. That’s one of the coolest things I can ever witness in person.
While we didn’t see Sproles at practice until the spring, there were already clear indications that his recovery was going well before that.
Check out this Instagram post from April:
Yeah, that’s impressive. He really is a physical freak.
The quiet veteran still has the quick feet and has the opportunity to really help the Eagles on special teams and probably even on offense. It’ll be up to Doug Pederson to figure out how to use him, but Pederson never hid the fact that he wanted his Swiss Army Knife back for one more season.
It would be hard to find a more well-respected player in the Eagles’ locker room.
This is my first time seeing him being able to practice (since the injury),” Jay Ajayi said. “I’ve been enjoying every part of it. He looks great. It’s just a blessing to be able to practice with him and have him as a teammate. He’s special and I’m glad I get to learn from him. To have him as a teammate is really awesome for me.
It’s not hard to figure out why Sproles decided to come back for a 13th and final NFL season. Just like Jason Peters and Haloti Ngata, there was just no way he was going to end his incredible career on the IR.
There was no way he was going to let his last NFL play be one where he ended up breaking his arm and tearing his ACL. It’s pretty amazing to see him return and look as good as he has already this summer, but we really shouldn’t be surprised.
“Nothing really amazes me from that guy,” Ertz said.
Father Time is undefeated, but Sproles is certainly giving him a run for his money. We should have known he would.