Sproles said he will wait until May to make a decision on retirement, The Press of Atlantic City's David Weinberg reports. Coach Doug Pederson recently said he'd like to keep Sproles in Philadelphia for another season. While he hasn't explicitly said so, the 35-year-old running back seems to be deciding between the Eagles and retirement, rather than weighing offers from other teams. The trade for Jordan Howard provides some bulk in the Philadelphia backfield, but the team still lacks a reliable option for passing downs.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson said he hasn't talked to Sproles since the end of the season but would love to have the 35-year-old on the team in 2019, Zack Rosenblatt of The Newark Star-Ledger reports. An unrestricted free agent, Sproles still hasn't announced his decision on retirement, and it isn't entirely clear he'd stay in Philadelphia if he were to continue his football career. The Eagles could certainly use a veteran presence in the backfield, as their current depth chart holds Corey Clement (knee), Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, Boston Scott and Donnel Pumphrey. The team is also maintaining dialogue with Jay Ajayi (knee) and likely will add a running back in the upcoming draft.
Sproles said after Sunday's 20-14 loss to the Saints in the divisional round that he hasn't decided if he wants to play a 15th NFL season in 2019, Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "I really don't know yet," Sproles said, when asked about his future in football. "I was going to take time away and then I was going to make my decision." If this is the end for the 35-year-old Sproles, he concluded his career on a rather underwhelming note after starting and playing 27 of the Eagles' 51 offensive snaps against New Orleans and finishing with only four yards on three carries to go with three receptions for 21 yards. After an injury-shortened 2017 season, Sproles was motivated to return in 2018 so he could end his career on his own terms, but health still proved to be an issue. He suffered a hamstring injury in the season opener that cost him 11 weeks of action before he returned to play in the Eagles' final seven contests. In his eight total appearances, Sproles averaged 3.2 yards per carry and tallied 20 receptions for 195 yards while reaching the end zone three times.
Sproles rushed 13 times for 21 yards and caught two of three targets for 13 yards in Sunday's 16-15 wild-card-round win over Chicago. It's a testament to Sproles' ability that he led his team in carries and rushing yards in a playoff game at the advanced age of 35. The diminutive running back is already sixth on the NFL's all-time all-purpose-yardage list and could climb even higher if he chooses to suit up for another season. Sproles has already stated that a decision won't come on that front until training camp next season, but his focus lies elsewhere at the moment with the Eagles set to travel to New Orleans to face Sproles' previous employer in the divisional round.
Sproles had seven carries for 24 yards and caught two of three targets for 12 yards in Sunday's 24-0 win over Washington. Sproles led the Philadelphia backfield with a 38 percent snap share, finishing slightly ahead of Wendell Smallwood (37 percent) and Josh Adams (25 percent), a duo that combined for 30 touches. The Eagles seem to have settled on a committee heading into the playoffs, with a road matchup against the Bears potentially favoring Sproles' role on passing downs. Of course, the Chicago defense has done excellent work defending running backs in the passing game, allowing just 6.6 yards per catch and 5.1 per target.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||09/27||@Green Bay Packers||19||18.13|
|5||10/06||New York Jets||18||17.75|
|11||11/17||New England Patriots||8||16.00|
|14||12/10||New York Giants||23||19.88|
|17||12/29||@New York Giants||23||19.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||46||206||1||25||220||1||54|