Miles Sanders Ruled Out Against Washington

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Despite an ugly half of football out of the offense, the Eagles came away with a win and playoff positioning following their match-up with the Giants.

Unfortunately, the offense suffered more injuries despite this game becoming a runaway in the second half.

Just before halftime, lead running back Miles Sanders left the game. He was ruled out with a hand injury and later seen on the sidelines with a heavily bandaged right hand.

By Monday morning, reports had already come in regarding the fact that Sanders had broken his hand and had an uncertain timetable.

That becomes a difficult situation to navigate with just two games before the playoffs.

Nick Sirianni spoke on Monday afternoon and commented that they hope to have him back this season.

That leaves the Eagles in a precarious spot, with an unavailable player on their roster taking up a spot with just two games before every game becomes an elimination game – and they haven’t officially clinched a spot in the playoffs yet.

Sanders leads the Eagles rushing offense with 754 yards, though he has yet to get into the endzone. This season, it seems like every time he gets into the red zone, he’s tackled just short of the line and Jalen Hurts gets the glory when he runs it in from two yards out.

Despite that, the Eagles have played without Sanders before. He missed four games last year and has already missed three this season.

The good news is that the Eagles offensive line (including backups) has played so well, as have the running backs, that it often doesn’t matter if Sanders, Howard or Scott is running the ball. They’ve even had times where all three of those guys were unavailable and only Kenneth Gainwell was available and they were still effective.

But Jordan Howard also suffered a stinger in the second half and unless the team plans to play Jason Huntley or Howard is absolutely good to go, the Birds may need to find another running back.

The Eagles reportedly are encouraged by his MRI, per NBC Sports’ Dave Zangaro.

Sirianni expects him back, but a stinger is what knocked him out of the 2019 season. He didn’t play again despite his being officially active in the playoff game against Seattle. That puts a bit of a shadow over the situation.

That puts the Eagles with two of their five backs (only four of which have played games for them this season) in a position where they may not be available either of the next two weeks or beyond.

If the Eagles do go looking for some running backs, Josh Adams (Saints), Elijah Holyfield (Cincinnati), and Wendell Smallwood (Washington) are among some of the known quantities to Eagles fans on practice squads around the league, thought this new coaching staff only worked with Holyfield.

Kerryon Johnson, a free agent right now, was also with the Eagles for a few weeks during training camp prior to an injury. If he’s healthy, he could be an option.

There are some high-profile free agents who may have had struggles recently but, if they are in shape, may benefit from getting the chance to play behind this offensive line as Jordan Howard – whose career even he thought might be over – has done this season. Those include Todd Gurley and Frank Gore. Ito Smith, who had some impressive games for the Falcons the past few years, is also currently on the Cowboys practice squad.

In the meantime, Boston Scott appears poised to once again take over starting duties. Despite his role remaining as a backup, the Eagles really hit on signing him off the Saints practice squad back in 2018 as he’s been an effective back whenever he’s called upon since then.

At this point, it would make sense for the Eagles to begin bringing players in for tryouts at the position similar to how they did with kickers last week as they could need to sign someone at a moment’s notice should the situation change for Sanders or Howard.