Miles Sanders sits out of another Eagles practice session

Miles Sanders #26, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Miles Sanders #26, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

At this point, you have to be worried. Then again, you may not be. Miles Sanders missing valuable time because of injury isn’t anything new. He hasn’t appeared in every game of the Philadelphia Eagles‘ regular season since he was a rookie in 2019. Still, it’s hard to make mention of that without also stating that he hobbled off of the field during the regular-season finale after nine rushing attempts

Most hoped that would be a small blip on the Eagles and Sanders’ injury radar. It hasn’t been. During the past two seasons, he’s missed four games in 2020 and another five in 2021.

Miles Sanders sits out of the Eagles’ first joint practice versus the Browns.

It’s hard to avoid nicks and bruises while playing football’s most punishing position, but tailbacks are also judged on availability. The 2022-2023 regular season is the final leg of a four-year deal Miles Sanders signed after being drafted in 2019. So far there’s been no extension, and there probably won’t be one.

The theory was the Eagles would evaluate Sanders, whether or not he can stay healthy, and make decisions about his long-term future at season’s end. Things have gotten off to a shaky start.

After hauling in two passes for 20 yards on the Eagles’ opening drive during their first preseason game versus the New York Jets, Sanders missed the following practice with ‘soreness’. Then, he missed another. The diagnosis was elevated to a hamstring injury.

The Birds are in Cleveland for a couple of joint practices with the Browns before both teams meet in their second preseason game. Miles made the trip, but he still isn’t practicing. Take a look.

If we’re being honest, it’s tough to see that knowing he’s had all off-season to heal, and he left the first preseason game after the first drive (and without taking any major hits).

We know Miles is talented and a legitimate home-run threat, but we also know there are aspects of his game that are concerning. He’s had fumbling issues (five in his first two seasons), but he also protected the ball better in 2021 as he only put the ball on the ground one time.

Sanders can break the long one. We’ve seen him house a few. Think of his performances versus the Buffalo Bills as a rookie and his game-changer versus the New Orleans Saints in 2021 if you’re looking for examples, but he failed to reach the end zone as a rusher or receiver in 2021.

If we’re being honest. Kenneth Gainwell, though he’s had issues with drops during recent practices, is the better receiver. He’s also better in pass protection, so it may be Gainwell or Boston Scott, not Sanders, who’s in the game for the Eagles’ offense during third-down situations.

We’ll see how things go, but seeing him on the sideline doesn’t contradict any thoughts about this possibly being his final run with the Eagles before Philly moves on next offseason.

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Giving him a long-term deal seems like a questionable decision when there are doubts that he’ll be available for the duration of a season. Again, as stated earlier, availability is a skill, and it’s one every team looks for at the professional level.