Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Miles Sanders returns to Eagles practice, still uncertain for Week 1 due to hamstring injury

miles-sanders.jpg
USATSI

Miles Sanders was back on the field for the first time in nearly three weeks Thursday, the final day of Eagles practice before the week leading up to the team’s 2022 opener. But coach Nick Sirianni isn’t committing to the veteran running back suiting up for Week 1 against the Lions. Asked how Sanders is progressing from a hamstring injury suffered in the club’s preseason opener, Sirianni expressed optimism about the veteran’s recovery but declined to predict his game availability.

“He’s feeling (and) getting better every day,” Sirianni said. “You know I’ll never put a timetable on a guy, but we’re hopeful and we’ll see what happens.”

If Sanders’ presence at practice Thursday was any indication, the 25-year-old is on track to open the season in the lineup. Sanders was spotted in full pads warming up with the rest of the team and taking hand-offs from starting quarterback Jalen Hurts. It’s possible the team was being overly cautious with his preseason usage — or lack thereof — as was the case with other starters. Technically, the running back had not suited up since Aug. 12, when the Eagles played the Jets to start their exhibition schedule. 

Sanders does have an injury history, however, missing a combined nine games over the last two seasons due to ankle and hamstring issues. He was arguably at his best as a 2019 rookie, when he totaled over 1,300 scrimmage yards in 16 games.

In the event he’s unable to play Week 1, the Eagles would likely lean on both Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell in the backfield. The former has started in place of Sanders before, while Gainwell saw time as both a runner and receiver in his 2021 rookie season. Philadelphia also has third-year reserve Jason Huntley on its practice squad.

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