Darren Sproles Announces He Will Retire From NFL at End of Season

john-healy
December 21, 2019 - 2:51 pm

Darren Sproles’ 15-year career in the NFL is coming to an end.

The Philadelphia Eagles running back and special teams returner, who is out for the season with a torn right hip flexor, announced on Saturday that he will retire when the season is over.

“I owe so much of the game of football and I gave it all I had in return,” he said in a statement on the Eagles’ website. “I gave it everything I had on every play. I rode it until the wheels fell off. That’s the way I played, that’s the way I practiced.”

Sproles, 36, re-signed with the Eagles on a one-year deal in July, but appeared in just six games, rushing for 66 yards on 17 carries before injuries cost him his season.

“When I re-signed with the Eagles back in July, I knew it was going to be my last season, and now my body is telling me it’s time to step away from the game,” he added. “It’s time to call it a career. So when the season comes to an end, I’m going to officially retire from the National Football League. But I wanted to announce it today so that we can appreciate the moment together on Sunday.”

The Eagles play their final home game of the season on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, which could determine the NFC East if Dallas wins. The Eagles must win to keep their hopes alive heading into Week 17 on the road against the Giants.

Sproles, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Chargers in 2005, spent the last six years of his career with the Eagles, which includes three Pro Bowl seasons from 2014-16 — his only Pro Bowl seasons of his career. The running back and special teams returner also spent three seasons with the Saints and six with the Chargers — who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft.

Many teams shied away from drafting Sproles because of his 5-foot-6 frame, but he finishes his career fifth on the NFL’s all-time list for all-purpose yards with 19,696 — which puts him between Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Tim Brown.

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