September 25, 2017
When the euphoria of the Philadelphia Eagles' thrilling win over the New York Giants wears off and the dust settles, reality will set in that the Birds suffered a number of injuries on Sunday.
Most notably, RB Darren Sproles, DT Fletcher Cox, and LB Jordan Hicks all left with injuries (and did not return) in the Eagles' win. Cox and Hicks are not thought to be seriously injured (we'll see soon), however, Sproles suffered a broken arm, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
#Eagles RB Darren Sproles is believed to have suffered a broken arm, sources say. MRI Monday to learn additional details. Out indefinitely— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 25, 2017
Rapoport also indicated that Sproles could land on injured reserve, potentially returning to the lineup in eight weeks.
If #Eagles RB Darren Sproles lands on IR, which makes sense given the time frame, he'd be the second RB on the team IR list.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 25, 2017
Dr. David Chao, a former NFL doctor who is not Sproles' doctor, but likes to guess at diagnoses, took a stab at Sproles' timetable for recovery.
The good news is that his season is not over. It is doubtful he needs to go on injured reserve and could return in as soon as a couple weeks.
By video, the injury occurred when his left forearm was inadvertently kicked as Giants safety Darian Thompson made a tackle and flew by Sproles.
With the report from Ian Rapoport of a broken arm, coupled with video, it is likely an isolated ulna fracture. I doubt the accompanying radius bone is broken, so there is some inherent stability. The forearm did not need support as he walked off the field.
Commonly called a "nightstick" fracture, an isolated ulna fracture clearly shows up on X-rays. So the scheduled MRI is likely just precautionary. Do not be surprised if surgery is announced Monday.
It is conceivable that Sproles could be back before mid-October.
Chao goes on to give historical examples of players with the same injury, if correct, in his article.
This is not the first time Chao has guessed at a diagnosis of an Eagles player this season. He correctly surmised that Ronald Darby's injury likely wasn't as bad as it looked when his ankle was gruesomely dislocated in the Eagles' Week 1 win in Washington.
Sproles is the Eagles' most well-rounded running back, as he can run inside, run outside, be a weapon in the passing game, and he's easily the team's best back in pass protection. Obviously, because of his small size, however, Sproles has been never been used as a 'workhorse' type of back, but he is typically on the field in the Eagles' most crucial situations.
Additionally, Sproles' contributions over the years as a punt returner cannot be discounted. The Eagles have won games they otherwise might not have, if not for big plays on special teams from Sproles. With Sproles out, the next punt returner in line is Torrey Smith, who before Sunday had never returned a punt in the NFL, and had only one punt return attempt in college. That could be a concern going forward.
The Eagles' rushing attack was ineffective the first two weeks of the season. Against the Giants, they were much better, and they got significant contributions from Wendell Smallwood, LeGarrette Blount, and Corey Clement.
The performances of the Eagles' running backs and offensive line on Sunday could perhaps provide optimism that the offense can weather the loss of Sproles.
We'll update as we learn more.
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