Darren Sproles' Season, and Perhaps Career, is Over

Ed Kracz

Darren Sproles’s season is over, probably his career, too.

The Eagles placed the veteran running back on Injured Reserve on Friday with a torn right hip flexor. Sproles originally injured a quadriceps muscle against the New York Jets on Oct. 6 and missed three games.

The Eagles released the news via Twitter.

Sproles, 36, returned against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 3. He ran the ball twice for seven yards, caught one pass for three yards and returned two punts for two years.

He returned from the bye week healthy. Head coach Doug Pederson said Sproles came to work on Monday of this week and did some different things then worked on his conditioning during Tuesday’s off day. After practice on Wednesday, however, Pederson said Sproles felt something not quite right and they had him examined.

On Thursday, Sproles was listed as not participating on the team’s practice report.

“This is part of the game,” said Pederson. “It’s disappointing in Darren’s situation, too, because of who he is as a person and what he’s meant to this organization, what he’s meant to this team, his leadership. He’s a Hall of Fame specialist, really, in this league. So I’m disappointed for him, more so for the team obviously, just that he can’t continue.”

If this is the end, it was a disheartening one for a player who is fifth all-time in the NFL for most all-purpose yards.

Sproles moved ahead of Tim Brown into fifth against the Jets and has 19,696 all-purpose yards, and that will likely generate a debate on whether or not Sproles should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame once he is eligible.

His last three years, however, have been marred by injury, and he has played in just 15 of a possible 48 games over that span.

The Eagles could replace Sproles with Jay Ajayi, who was in Philadelphia ono Friday for a physical.

Ajayi, who was acquired at the 2017 trade deadline by the Eagles and played a role in their march to the Super Bowl LII title, hasn’t played since the Eagles placed on Injured Reserve in Week Five of the 2018 season after tearing an ACL.

Pederson said that, if the team elects to sign Ajayi, he could play a role in Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots because of Ajayi’s familiarity with the offense.