Philadelphia Eagles

Can the Eagles backfield survive without Miles Sanders?

Image for Can the Eagles backfield survive without Miles Sanders?

The Philadelphia Eagles are placing RB Miles Sanders on injured reserve today with the expectation he will miss three games, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

A three-week timeline would put him in line to return for the clash with the New Orleans Saints, or the first of two divisional matchups with the New York Giants.

In the meantime, the Eagles will likely turn to Kenny Gainwell as their lead back, giving their rookie an extended look as a potential RB1. Gainwell has looked the more dangerous of the two running backs at times, largely due to the threat he brings through the air. Despite Sanders being the clear RB1, Gainwell has just as many receptions as the Penn State product but has added an extra 46 yards.

The offense did look pretty stale when Sanders was helped off the field against the Raiders, and neither Gainwell nor Boston Scott could do much to negate his absence.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?), this loss isn’t as big as it should be. The Eagles have had documented struggles all year when it comes to running the ball and there has appeared to be a real reluctance to do so at times, leading to a frustrated Sanders breaking off a huge run and looking as if he’s about to storm through a brick wall and demand more of the ball, as he rightfully should.

It would be typical for Nick Sirianni to begin heavily implanting designed runs now, just as the team lose their most experienced running back. The good news is that it will give Gainwell an opportunity to prove he’s more than just a do-it-all rusher and the team can hang their hat on him as a future three-down back.

It would behoove the Eagles to call up Jordan Howard from the practice squad and maybe lighten the load on Gainwell’s shoulders. Howard is a downhill runner and a decisive run at that, even if he has lost a step or two. Besides, what’s the worst that could happen? It’s not like the offense could get any more dysfunctional!

Here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery for Miles Sanders and something that resembles a balanced offense when the Eagles face Detroit this weekend.

*Other good news: Boston Scott should now have a pretty big role against the Giants, just as he has done for the past two years, ripping them to shreds in the process.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

Share this article

Liam is a 25-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.

You can contact him here:

1 comment

  • Dave says:

    I know in the UK you use possession differently, but since you are writing for a most likely extremely lopsided American vs. UK/English audience, how about transitioning to using the singular we use here?

    This is from the Editors Manual:

    When writing in American English, treat collective nouns as singular (the team is . . ., the board is . . .)

    I realize you have been writing this way all your life, but the phrase “consider your audience” can be applied to this column. You are a British writer, writing for an overwhelming American audience. You’ve embraced a predominantly American sport, for which you get kudos, so how about embracing the way we speak as well.

Leave a Reply