All systems appear go for Eagles running back Darren Sproles, even though he was listed as questionable on the team’s injury report heading into Monday night’s game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field.
Also listed as questionable were defensive lineman Michael Bennett (foot) and running back Josh Adams (hip). Ruled out were cornerbacks Jalen Mills (foot) and Avonte Maddox (ankle/knee), and linebacker Jordan Hicks (calf).
Sproles was able to practice in limited fashion this past week and he is expected to play, though is usage may be curtailed somewhat.
“His role is just going to be - without giving away the game plan a bunch - first of all, we have to make sure - I guess you can't just say, ‘Hey, Darren, here is the game plan, let's go, you're back 100 percent, rocking and rolling, we are going to put you in and you are going to get ‘X’ numbers of touches and return every punt and do all that,’” said head coach Doug Pederson on Saturday. “I think that's a disservice to him and in fairness to the rest of the guys.”
That said, Pederson added that he would like to see Sproles back in his usual spot as punt returner and on third downs. He may even see some time on first and second downs.
Sproles hasn’t played since the season opener on Sept. 6. He suffered a hamstring in a practice following that game against the Atlanta Falcons, then had a setback. It was assumed the nature of the setback was another hamstring, but Sproles spoke to reporters on Friday and said that it was more than that, though he would not elaborate. Pederson didn’t either on Saturday.
“For him it's now about getting back to game speed and getting caught up with that and the physical nature of the game, being tackled again, but yeah, we'll see,” said the coach. “He's doing well and on track to playing this weekend.”
The coach said the same thing about defensive lineman Michael Bennett, though Bennett did not practice all week.
“He's doing well,” said Pederson. “He's done all our walk-throughs this week. He just hasn't performed in practice. We're just giving him some rest on that toe and he'll be fine. He'll be fine.”
Bennett is the team’s sack leader with 6.5. His role has expanded since defensive end Derek Barnett (shoulder) was placed on Injured Reserve after Week Seven’s game against Carolina.
**“**I think what you're seeing now is he's getting more reps, obviously he's getting more snaps in the game and he's really become a dominant force,” said Pederson. “He's played extremely well. He's been disruptive. Been around the quarterback in recent weeks and he's really kind of I think coming into and understanding the scheme defensively and then obviously fitting into his role.”
Left tackle Jason Peters did not practice earlier in the week due to personal reason. Pederson said he was optimistic that Peters would play against the Redskins.