The hamstring that refuses to heal for Darren Sproles may be close to healing.
The Eagles running back is expected to practice on Thursday afternoon as the 5-6 Eagles prepare to host the Washington Redskins (6-5) on Monday night, though it would be in a limited capacity, according to head coach Doug Pederson.
“He so wants to be on the field so bad that it would be exciting to get him out there today in a limited capacity,” said Pederson.
The Eagles have been down this road with Sproles already. After being sidelined with a hamstring injury in the season opener on Sept. 6, he was close to returning a couple weeks ago, but suffered another hamstring injury, which the coach said then, wasn’t related to the initial hamstring he hurt against the Atlanta Falcons.
Sproles announced at the start of the season that this would be his final NFL season and would retire. With the way the season has gone – or not gone, in his case – perhaps he could change his mind, which would seem unlikely since he will turn 36 in June.
“Regardless of what happens after the season, he’s such a competitor and a leader of this football team and he wants to be out there really, really bad,” said Pederson.
As of now, the Eagles’ lead back will continue to be undrafted rookie free agent Josh Adams.
“Josh goes in as the starter,” said Pederson. “There’s no hiding that. And we continue to mix the guys in there. You saw Corey (Clement) last week, a little change of pace, whether it be a screen or a nice run on third down. He’s got some burst. We’ll continue to game plan for all our guys.”
That could include Sproles.
“We have to see where Darren’s at at the end of the week and see what he can handle physically,” said Pederson. “We definitely want to get him in the mix. Josh has taken that lead approach. The other two, Corey and Wendell (Smallwood), have done outstanding job on special teams, so their role is obviously bigger from the game plan standpoint.”
NOTES: Pederson said that cornerbacks Jalen Mills (hamstring) and Avonte Maddox (knee/ankle) and linebacker Jordan Hicks (calf) are probably further away from playing on Monday than some of the injured plays such as cornerbacks Rasul Douglas (knee/ankle), Sidney Jones (hamstring) and Chandon Sullivan. He added that Hicks is probably further away from returning than either Mills or Maddox …
Pederson said that receivers Mike Wallace (leg) and Mack Hollins (groin) are still not ready to return from Injured Reserve. “Both guys are doing well. They’re not there yet, so we still have a little bit of time. We haven’t made that decision obviously, we’re just waiting for them to kind of progress further along in their rehab, but both guys are doing well.”