If someone told you that you could have two victories in the NFL in exchange for a fifth round pick, you’d make the swap.
Well, no one told Eagles GM Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly that Darren Sproles would score a game-tying touchdown in Week 1, and then score another one (while gaining a career-high 178 yards from scrimmage) in Week 2.
But you have to admit, the 31-year-old undersized tailback was certainly worth the price tag when he was acquired from the Saints this offseason.
“He’s always found a way to make plays,” Eagles running back LeSean McCoy said after Monday’s 30-27 win. “On the ground, in the air or on special teams, he gives us a spark. Shoot, without Sproles we would be in some trouble to be honest, we really would. That’s why we’re a team. When guys are struggling he’s picking everyone up.”
The Eagles have a two-headed monster behind Nick Foles now. With the Colts focusing in shutting down McCoy (he had 20 carries for 79 and a touchdown), the Birds can, almost clandestinely, work Sproles into the running game and the screen game.
“I feel like I’m not playing to my level that I should be playing,” McCoy continued. “[Monday] I had an average, above average game but he came in and carried us again. It’s good to have that. When you get that type of attention from the defense other guys are making plays and he’s doing that.”
It’s a luxury most coaching staffs don’t have, and one that Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is keen to continue exploiting.
“It’s an easy substitution,” Shurmur said. “If McCoy gets winded we put in Darren.”