Darren Sproles has been a valuable addition to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Aug 28, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles (43) walks off the field after a game against the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles won 37-7. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
(C+P) — After a Wild Card loss to the New Orleans Saints last season, the Philadelphia Eagles decided to bring in their most versatile weapon during the offseason: Darren Sproles. Sproles was a fourth-round selection by the San Diego Chargers back in 2005 and played five seasons with the Chargers before his three season stint in New Orleans. Sproles is now a huge part of Chip Kelly’s high-powered Eagles offense, getting time as a running back, receiver and punt return specialist.
Sproles is one of few players in the NFL who can perform at a Pro Bowl level in every aspect of the game. In fact, Sproles holds the NFL single-season record for All-Purpose Yards, finishing the 2011 season with 2,696 total yards. Sproles’ ability to perform anywhere on the field makes him a dangerous weapon in the offensive scheme of a coach like Kelly.
With LeSean McCoy handling the majority of the running in Philly, Sproles is used a lot in the passing attack. Sproles is a vital part of the Eagles’ passing offense this season, in large part due to his tremendous speed that makes him a matchup problem for basically every team in the NFL. Sproles has almost as many targets as rushing attempts this season, and even when Nick Foles isn’t throwing it his way he helps the other receivers by drawing secondary help his way.
A huge part of Sproles’ success in Philadelphia is his special teams play. Sproles is the number one punt returner for the Eagles for good reason: he’s an explosive player who threatens to score every time he touches the football. In fact, through only six games this season Sproles has already racked up 280 yards and a touchdown on special teams. His explosiveness continuously gives the Eagles’ offense a shorter field and sets them up in positions to score.
Needless to say, Sproles has played a key role in the Eagles’ 5-1 start to the season. The Eagles have been playing fantastic football lately, and they are currently sitting in second place in the NFC East just waiting for the Cowboys to slip up. The Eagles play in Dallas Week 13 while the Cowboys visit Philadelphia Week 15 for the game which may very likely decide the winner of the division.