We all find inspiration in different ways, but there was no way Darren Sproles was going to decide against returning to the Philadelphia Eagles after this.
Count them up. When the Philadelphia Eagles open their 2019 regular season, Darren Sproles will be appearing in the 178th regular season game of his career. That’s quite an accomplishment that no NFL fan should take lightly, whether you root for ‘The Birds’ or not.
3,486 rushing yards, 4,816 receiving yards, and 11,227 return yards are the result of a brilliant career that began way back in 2005. Call us crazy, but that looks like a resume quite a few guys would kill to own.
Keep in mind the fact that Sproles has shared the backfield with the likes of Ryan Mathews, DeMarco Murray, LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi in Philly, and he split carries with Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory while with the New Orleans Saints.
Prior to that. he even sat at third string on the depth chart behind LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner while with what was, then, the San Diego Chargers (and some of you believe Marty Schottenheimer didn’t know how to build a roster).
We won’t even bring up the talent some of those teams have had at receiver.
Here we are, now approaching Sproles’ 15th year in the NFL (14 if you take into consideration the fact that he didn’t play in 2006 due to injury), and Philly is, for what seems like the third straight year, giving Mr. Sproles the opportunity to go out on his own terms. You can’t fault them for that, but while that theory and the possibility of winning a Super Bowl (and being on the field to participate) are both reasons to get an old man back to camp, Sproles credits a more obvious source, his daughter.
Here’s a quote.
"It was really a bet. Me and her made a bet like earlier in her track season. She was like if she makes it to the Junior Olympics this year, I have to play again, so, like, in June, she made it to the Junior Olympics so right after that race she was like daddy, you have to go back and play again. That was the bet… She actually has a race today."
Sproles joins one of the deepest, youngest and most talented backfields he’s ever been a part of. We don’t have a roster yet, but running back figures to be one of the hot topics all throughout camp.
Here are the names: Sproles, Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, and Donnel Pumphrey. Is anyone else excited yet? Four teams called Sproles to inquire about his services. In the end, he decided to come home. Will he be a part of a team that hoists the Lombardi Trophy at season’s end? Philly’s got a chance, but first thing’s first. Let’s put a roster together first.