Here’s a hunch. The Philadelphia Eagles won’t be cutting Miles Sanders.
Here’s a quick history lesson for anyone who feels as though they may need one. Once upon a time, all anyone could say when they brought up Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders was “he used to back up Saquon Barkley at Penn State”. Nowadays, the more common thought, at least it should be, is how come James Franklin didn’t come up with ways to get these two on the field at the same time in more two-back sets?
Fast forward, and Philly’s entering Year 2 with Sanders on the roster. That’s very exciting to think about. After all, he did set franchise records for all-purpose yards and rushing yards by a rookie. That happened despite spending much of the early part of the 2019 season as Jordan Howard’s backup.
Sanders looked like a rookie early, as you’d expect. He tried to juke a few guys rather than finding the hole and hitting it, but once Jordan went down and he got a few more opportunities, the light bulb went on and shone brightly. Philly gets criticized for their drafting sometimes, but rest easy Eagles fans. They nailed this one. Sanders is no longer in Barkley’s shadow. He joins him as one of the league’s best backs.
What are the reasonable expectations for Miles Sanders’ 2020 Philadelphia Eagles training camp?
Expect quite a few preseason totes just to get Sanders back in a groove, but fans probably won’t see many of them. Most of his work will come at practice as head coach Doug Pederson isn’t going to do anything to place his star running back in harm’s way (and Eagles practices will be closed to the public thanks to COVID-19).
This is his second training camp, and he’s very familiar with what Doug Pederson and Duce Staley are doing. He may be young, but Boston Scott, Michael Warren, and Adrian Killins will be looking at him to be an example of how things are done for this Philadelphia Eagles team.
Here’s what Philadelphia Eagles fans should expect from Miles Sanders in 2020.
As mentioned, Sanders’ 818 rushing yards and 1,641 all-purpose yards in the 2019 regular season are both franchise records, and he did all of that even though he backed up Jordan Howard early and shared a lot of on-field time with Boston Scott later.
Scott returns in 2020, and both he and Sanders will be joined in the Eagles backfield by Corey Clement. Philly will, again, employ their committee approach, but make no mistake, the top guy on the depth chart is Mr. Sanders.
With even more opportunities and more responsibility on his shoulders, expect him to answer the call and respond with a 1,000-yard rushing season, his first. Don’t expect him to field 14 kickoffs, so those return numbers will vanish. He’ll still play a huge part in Philly’s passing game though, so 1,500 all-purpose yards again sounds like a pretty safe bet.