Eagles

Timeless Darren Sproles looks as youthful as ever at Eagles training camp

Timeless Darren Sproles looks as youthful as ever at Eagles training camp

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.

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Eagles Injury Update: Reports on all half a dozen injured Birds

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AP Images

Eagles Injury Update: Reports on all half a dozen injured Birds

The Eagles are hurting emotionally and physically, Doug Pederson said, after their 48-7 loss to the Saints in New Orleans. 

Let’s dive into the physical portion now. 

Six Eagles left Sunday’s game early with injuries. Pederson was asked about all of them in a rapid-fire question to start his Monday morning press conference. 

“That’s a big list,” he said. “Big list, big list, big list.”

Here are those updates: 

• Long snapper Rick Lovato suffered a concussion and is in the NFL’s concussion protocol 

• Jordan Hicks (calf) is week to week

• Sidney Jones (hamstring) is week to week 

• Avonte Maddox (knee) is day to day 

• Rasul Douglas (knee) is day to day

• Jason Kelce (elbow) is “fine” 

Even though Pederson said Maddox is day to day, that’s somewhat hard to believe. Maddox’s injury looked nasty and he was seen walking away from the building Monday morning with a significant limp. 

Normally, when Pederson calls someone “week to week,” they’re going to miss some time. That’s where Hicks and Jones are. Pederson said Jones had healed completely from his hamstring injury but suffered a new injury. 

If Lovato can’t play this coming Sunday, linebacker Nate Gerry is the team’s backup. He long-snapped in college and was warming up on the sideline Sunday night. 

In light of the rash of injuries, Pederson was asked about his trust in the team’s medical staff. Pederson was defensive about this topic and said there’s “no problem.”

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Eagles snap counts: Depleted defense relying on deep backups

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USA Today Images

Eagles snap counts: Depleted defense relying on deep backups

The Eagles were lit up by Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints offense Sunday afternoon. 

It didn’t help that the Birds had a bunch of random guys out there trying to stop one of the best offenses we’ve ever seen. 

The Eagles on Sunday got 147 combined snaps from five defensive players who weren’t on the roster to start the season! 

Cre’Von LeBlanc: 44 (63 percent)
T.Y. McGill: 30 (43 percent)
Chandon Sullivan: 26 (37 percent)
De’Vante Bausby: 24 (34 percent)
Treyvon Hester: 23 (33 percent)

That’s pretty wild. The guy who has been on the roster the longest of that group is Hester, who was promoted to the active roster on Oct. 2. Sullivan was promoted Oct. 25. LeBlanc was claimed Nov. 5. T.Y. McGill signed on Nov. 6. And Bausby was promoted Nov. 17. 

Other defensive snap count notes

• Obviously, the secondary was a mess with injuries. Rasul Douglas played 51 before going down. Sidney Jones played 22 snaps before his hamstring injury. And Avonte Maddox played just 17 snaps before his injury. 

• Michael Bennett and Brandon Graham each played 42 snaps. Chris Long played 39 snaps and Josh Sweat played 20, the most of his career. 

• Jordan Hicks played 64 snaps of 70 before leaving the game with a calf injury. Before the injury, he had played every snap this season. 

Offensive snap count notes

• Josh Adams appears to be the new lead back. He got 28 of 51 snaps and was one of the very few bright spots. He had seven carries for 53 yards and caught three passes for 19. Corey Clement played 14 snaps and Wendell Smallwood played just four. That’s significant because Smallwood came into the game as the Eagles’ top rusher. 

• Golden Tate played 36 snaps (71 percent). Tate had five receptions for 48 yards. He’s a good player, but that third-round pick looks like a steeper and steeper price. 

• Dallas Goedert played just 16 snaps. In the last two games, he has played 34 snaps. In those two games, he has one target and no catches. 

• If you’re looking for another positive, Lane Johnson and Jason Peters were at least able to play all 51 offensive snaps. Jason Kelce played just six snaps before leaving with an elbow injury. 

Offense

Isaac Seumalo: 51 snaps (100 percent)
Brandon Brooks: 51 (100)
Lane Johnson: 51 (100)
Jason Peters: 51 (100)
Carson Wentz: 51 (100)
Alshon Jeffery: 51 (100)
Zach Ertz: 47 (92)
Stefen Wisniewski: 45 (88)
Nelson Agholor: 44 (86)
Golden Tate: 36 (71) 
Josh Adams: 28 (55)
Dallas Goedert: 16 (31)
Corey Clement: 14 (27)
Jordan Matthews: 14 (27)
Jason Kelce: 6 (12)
Wendell Smallwood: 4 (8)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: 1 (2)

Defense

Malcolm Jenkins: 70 snaps (100 percent)
Nigel Bradham: 70 (100)
Jordan Hicks: 64 (91)
Corey Graham: 61 (87)
Rasul Douglas: 51 (73)
Fletcher Cox: 49 (70)
Cre’Von LeBlanc: 44 (63)
Michael Bennett: 42 (60)
Brandon Graham: 42 (60)
Chris Long: 39 (56)
Haloti Ngata: 33 (47)
T.Y. McGill: 30 (43)
Kamu Grugier-Hill: 29 (41)
Chandon Sullivan: 26 (37)
De’Vante Bausby: 24 (34)
Treyvon Hester: 23 (33)
Sidney Jones: 22 (31)
Josh Sweat: 20 (29)
Avonte Maddox: 17 (24)
Nate Gerry: 8 (11) 
Tre Sullivan: 6 (9)

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