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Darren Sproles expects to play Monday vs. Redskins

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  • By Thomas Warren NFL.com
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Missing ten straight games is certainly not what Darren Sproles had in mind when he decided to return for the 2018 season, but the Eagles running back plans to play Monday and finish what could be his last season on a positive note.

Sproles hasn't played since Week 1 when a hamstring injury knocked him out of action. The injury has been what is noted on weekly injury reports, but Sproles was coy when speaking to reporters Friday, saying it's "more than a simple hamstring injury" that has kept him sidelined, though he didn't elaborate.

He says he's ready to go now, but with 86 days having ticked off the calendar since he last played in an NFL game, Sproles can't be expected to jump back in the fray full go. He is listed as questionable on the Week 13 injury report.

Head coach Doug Pederson said as much Saturday.

"I guess you can't just say, 'Hey, Darren, here is the game plan, let's go, you're back one hundred percent, rocking and rolling, we are going to put you in and you are going to get 'X' numbers of touches and return every punt and do all that.' I think that's a disservice to him and in fairness to the rest of the guys," Pederson said. "I would love to see him back on some punt returns. I would love to see him get into the mix on some third downs, offensively, first and second down. For him it's now about getting back to game speed and getting caught up with that and the physical nature of the game, being tackled again."

The last two seasons have been a far cry from what Sproles had planned when he announced he would retire after the 2017 season. That year ended after Week 3 against the Giants when -- on the same play -- he tore his ACL and broke his forearm. And after deciding to return this season for his daughter an injury, again, has soured the experience.

Sproles, though, says he's not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

"You know, it's tough," he told NBC Sports Philadelphia "But you just gotta keep on grinding. You know what I'm saying. You just can't quit."

And nobody expects him to. Sproles didn't amass a 14-year career as a productive triple-threat playmaker to simply pack up and walk away when faced with bumps in the road.

The question is -- when he returns Monday and if he manages to play the remainder of the season, will we seem him back in an NFL uniform in 2019?

"Who knows?" Sproles said. "Who knows?"

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