With Ryan Mathews currently stuck in the concussion protocol, both DeMarco Murray and Darren Sproles (above) could be in line for a heavier workload on Sunday.
By Barbara Harrison
Eagles fans are getting restless with their 4-5 squad.
And so is running back/punt returner Darren Sproles!
The 5-6 running back is used to lighting up defenses in a limited role. But this year, Sproles is frustrated with Chip Kelly’s Eagles offense.
Stuck behind DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews on the Eagles’ depth chart, Sproles has carried the ball 39 times for 143 yards and has 29 catches for 199 yards. He’s scored just one touchdown.
In the Eagles’ most recent game, Sproles was on the field for 17 offensive snaps, per Football Outsiders.
“Things get kind of frustrating. You know what I’m saying?” Sproles said.“You’re standing on the sidelines. It’s kind of frustrating. But what can you do?”
When Sproles was asked if the coaches were using him correctly, he declined to really answer the question.
“I’m not really on the field. But I don’t get into that,” Sproles said. “If they’re going to put me on the field, they’re going to put me in. If they’re not, they’re not. You know what I’m saying? If they do put me in, I just try to make the best of it.”
Sproles’ usage hasn’t really dipped from last season, when he finished the year with 57 carries and 40 receptions. In fact, Sproles hasn’t seen an expanded role since the 2011 season, when he carried the ball 87 times and caught 86 passes for the Saints.
Maybe he’s still clinging to memories of New Orleans, because Sproles maintained he’s not getting the ball enough.
“I’m not getting enough chances,” Sproles said. “They got me more in there to run routes. DeMarco and Ryan get the bulk of the carries … To get in a rhythm you need more touches. That’s for any kind of player.”
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time an Eagles running back has showed signs of frustration. Back in October, Murray also complained about a lack of touches.
And really, that’s the problem any team faces when it employs three capable players at the same position group. Of course, winning helps mitigate players’ frustrations, but the Eagles are 4-5 on the season.