Darren Sproles is finally being given a chance to be a team's No. 1 running back, and it only took 12 seasons for his opportunity.
Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson made the announcement Monday that Sproles will be the team's lead back going forward. The 33-year-old had been sharing carries with Ryan Mathews and Wendell Smallwood, while also serving as the team's primary punt returner.
"I would say that Darren is the No. 1 back right now," Pederson said at his news conference, according to Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com. "Ryan is still a big part. You saw the touchdown run he had yesterday ... it's still a bit of the running back by committee. Obviously we haven't hung our hat on one guy, but we tend to lean more towards Darren Sproles. It's hard to take him off the field right now."
Sproles led the team in rushing in Sunday's 28-23 loss to the New York Giants. The vet ran the ball 13 times for 57 yards. Mathews carried the ball five times for 15 yards and a red-zone touchdown, and Smallwood ran the ball twice for 25 yards.
Sproles was however stopped on a key fourth-and-1 on the Giants' 6-yard-line with the Eagles trailing in the second quarter of Sunday's game.
Mathews leads the team in rushing with 287 yards on 76 carries, but Sproles is just two yards short of that mark on 59 total rushes. Mathews has five touchdowns on the season to Sproles' zero.
Sproles also shared backfields during his time with the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints.
Source: NJ.com · Photo Credit: Images Courtesy of Keystone Press