Adam Schefter reported Monday morning that Sproles will undergo surgery on his arm today, and knee at a later time.
Following the heroic game-winning field goal from Eagles kicker Jake Elliott, the rookie was bombarded by his emotional teammates as they celebrated another divisional win over the rival Giants. Elliott’s kick (61 yards) is the farthest ever made by a rookie in NFL history.
As storybook as the ending was at Lincoln Financial Field yesterday, the Eagles cannot forget that they lost one of their true competitors in Darren Sproles.
Sproles, 34, made it to the sidelines on his own after the play, following a strong shot to the arm from Giants safety Darian Thompson. With the dual injuries, Sproles is most likely done for the year.
“It can be a blow [from a morale perspective],” said coach Doug Pederson (via ESPN’s Tim McManus and The Associated Press). “He’s a great man, he’s a great leader, well-liked obviously on this team and in this locker room and in this community. He’s a lot of energy, and that’s hard to replace.”
The Eagles will likely look into signing another running back in Sproles’ absence, but as of now the backfield duties will be assigned to LeGarrette Blount, Wendell Smallwood, and Corey Clement.
With 13 great seasons in the NFL, nobody would blame Sproles if he announced his retirement tomorrow.
But that just is not the type of player he is.
You can pretty much guarantee that he will do everything possible to see the field again.
Sproles may arguably be the greatest complementing running back in NFL history. From time spent early in his career with LaDainian Tomlinson, to playing with Mark Ingram, and then a season with LeSean McCoy. The numbers he achieved while sharing a backfield with those guys should not be discredited.
Looking back on Sproles’ time in Philly really makes it difficult to grasp that he will not be suiting up with this suddenly bright team on its path to make a run at the postseason this year.
In March of 2014, a couple months after Sproles helped send them home on Wild Card weekend, Sproles was dealt to the Eagles in a trade with the New Orleans Saints for just a fifth-round draft pick. It says a lot of Sproles’ character and reputation (even then) that Philadelphia welcomed and embraced him.
Since that time, he has provided the Eagles with a hard-nosed running and playmaking ability that always picked them up when things looked dim.
Whether it would come on special teams or in the offense, he has played a vital role every season.
In four years as an Eagle, he has played in 49 games, 1145 rushing yards/1275 receiving, 11 rushing touchdowns/3 receiving, and 4 punt returns for touchdowns. But what gets taken for granted of Sproles is his rare competitive nature at 5-foot-6, 190 pounds. The mentality of running the ball play after play like it is the last time is sacred to find in a player. He has always been somebody who prides himself on making big-time plays for his team, and less on what shows up in the stat sheet. A true teammate.
So whether or not this is the last we see of Darren Sproles and his running back prowess, there is nothing in his Hall Of Fame career that says he didn’t give his all for each team that he played for.
He is as modest of a human being as you could ask for, withholding pure class through and through.
His work ethic is impeccable.
He is a 3-time Pro Bowler
He will always be remembered in Philadelphia.
He is forever a legend in this game and so much more.
He is Darren Sproles.
Thank you 43.
B.S. Communication/Journalism Clarion University Alum and lifelong Philadelphia sports enthusiast.