The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Wednesday that second-year running back Miles Sanders will be out on a week-to-week basis after suffering a lower-body injury.
According to ESPN’s Tim McManus, the injury does not seem to be too serious and that the 23-year-old will be ready to play for the start of the 2020 season.
Sanders is coming off as great a rookie season as ever for an Eagles’ rookie rusher. He set franchise marks for a first-year back in scrimmage yards (1,327) and rushing yards (818). He also finished eighth in the league with 1,641 all-purpose yards despite being the Eagles’ back-up behind Jordan Howard.
Injuries to the veteran, however, opened the door for Sanders to leave a mark on the organization and he’s slated to be the team’s No. 1 running back in 2020.
Seeing their No. 1 back go down could prompt the Eagles into making a move for a veteran rusher. Last year provided a harsh lesson on depth — and their lack of it — when several of their big-time offensive playmakers missed considerable time due to injuries.
Philadelphia currently saw Boston Scott take a majority of snaps during practice on Wednesday, which won’t do much to ease any tensions that comes with the thought of losing Sanders for a while.
Scott is a practice-squad player, Corey Clement has struggled with injuries, and the depth chart behind them consists of other practice-squad players and undrafted free agents like Elijah Holyfield, Michael Warren, and Adrian Killins.
None of them have over 580 career rushing yards, which is why assistant head coach Duce Staley is so dependent on Sanders.
“We have [RB] Corey [Clement], we have [RB] Boston [Scott], we have a cast of younger guys, also, and we’ll see what they can do here shortly,” he said (h/t Philly Voice). “But as much as I can give the ball to Miles and let him create and go out there and just kind of just trust him to do the right thing, I think do you it as much as possible.”
Life in the preseason without Sanders could force the Eagles to realize that they’ll need a bonafide No. 2 back waiting in the wings should the unthinkable happen. And they have plenty of options.
Former Atlanta Falcons back Devonta Freeman is still on the open market to stabilize the Eagles’ run game. From 2015-2017, he averaged 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns per season, including a league-leading 11 in 2015. That also came with the dual-threat capabilities of 54.3 receptions per season.
A pair of former Jets running backs in Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell are also available. They provide similar, hard-nosed running games and are productive when they get the ball. Both backs average 4.3 yards per carry over their respective careers.