I’ve seen this happen many times before during my time as a NFL player and now as part of the media. Great players get old and can no longer stay healthy and be productive. Once a NFL player gets to a certain age they can’t do the job any more. It’s a different age for everybody, but once you get to a certain point your body starts telling you that it’s time to shut it down. It’s as simple as that and that looks like that’s what’s happening right now with Eagles running back/punt returner Darren Sproles.
The hamstring injury originally was supposed to sideline him for maybe a couple of weeks and then it was for a month, then longer. The hamstring injury has stretched on and on throughout the entire season. Veteran offensive tackle Jason Peters has been dealing with injuries all season as well.
This is one of the reasons that NFL General Managers are slow to sign players with ages nearly 40 years old.
Sproles practiced yesterday a little bit and now news has come out that he has re-aggravated his hamstring injury. This is saying nothing negative about Sproles because I think he’s a Hall of Fame player. I believe his body is talking to him and you know this happens with everybody. The Hall of Fame is full of the greatest players in the NFL history, but none of them are playing the game now because their bodies got too old. It looks like that’s what happening to Sproles.
It’s a young man’s game even though Tom Brady is still playing at 41. His time will be up very soon as well. It’s just what happens. You don’t see any 60-year-old running back. There aren’t any 55-year old linebackers still out there fighting off blocks and making tackles. You don’t see any 50-year old wide receivers outrunning cornerbacks on 60-yard touchdown plays. They’re not out there and so this is nothing against Darren. He has been a great player for a long time and I think he is headed for the Hall of Fame, but I don’t know if he’s going to be able to help us this season.
The coaching staff must stop assuming he’s going to be able to help this team. He has been the ultimate pro the way he’s worked and trained, but everybody’s time comes. If they keep on waiting and expecting him to help them, they’re going to get caught unprepared. It’s time to move on Eagles.