Darren Lee Sproles, running back and return specialist for the Philadelphia Eagles has finally decided to retire from his professional football career, the team announced it on Saturday.
He has been out for the rest of the season with a torn right hip reflexes muscle, Sproles and the team announced his decision saying, “I gave it everything I had on every play.” “I owe so much to the game of football, and I gave it all I had in return,” Sproles said in a statement which was posted 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, and that’s the way I practiced. 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. It’s time to call it a career; I’m going to retire from the national football league officially. Still, I wanted to announce it today so that we can appreciate the moment together on Sunday”. He added.
After the 15 National Football League seasons he had spent with three different teams, he has finally made his decision. He began his career in San Diego, he played with the Chargers during the 2005 NFL Draft and left them after the 2010 season. Sproles became a free agent and was quickly signed in New Orleans, spent three seasons there, and was eventually sent(traded) to the Eagles.
He has spent five years in Philadelphia; he joined them since 2014. He had something very heartwarming to say about his time with the Phillies, “To Eagle fans who supported me every single day, I could feel it” he wrote, “you made my time here very special, I remember when I was first traded to the Eagles, I was shocked because it came out of the blue, but it turned into a blessing.”
Sunday’s game against Cowboys will be the final home game of Sproles career because he is retiring and he is feeling quite emotional about it, “It’s hard to put in words the emotion I will feel when I walk out of the tunnel one last time for a regular-season game at Lincoln Financial Field,” Sproles wrote. “One last time with my teammates and coaches, and one last time in front of the fans. Trust me, I believe in this group, and I know that we still have a nice run left in us this year. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again.”
Sproles has been utilized on both offensive and special teams and has totaled 16,696 all-purpose yards in his career. The 36-year-old had initially planned to retire following the 2018 season, and he had changed his mind after the numerous injury he had sustained within the year, which allowed him to play only in six games.
He was derailed by a hamstring injury, which caused him to miss seven games at the beginning of the year 2018, followed the injuries in November and late December. Let’s not forget he had thoughts of retiring in 2017 as well, but this could be it, and he will be retiring this year.
Sproles will be retiring with a Superbowl ring. He had been injured for the final 13 games of 2017 season, and despite that, he still bagged a circle for the Eagles Superbowl win over the England Patriots.
He went on to encourage people to do whatever they wanted no matter what people said to them and how far he has come being in a group with other great football players, “I’m proud that I was able to prove my doubters wrong. They told me that I wouldn’t make it past a year in the NFL. Fifteen years later, I’m fifth all-time in NFL history in career all-purpose yards. Look at the names who are above me on that list: Jerry Rice, Brian Mitchell, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith. To be part of such an outstanding group is an incredible honor. But it also goes to show that no matter what people say about you, you can still achieve great things if you believe in yourself and put in the work.”
Darren is an outstanding player, and he will be remembered while he’s gone, his teammates agree to this. “Every time I think about Darren, it’s one thing that constantly pops into my head,” Eagles teammate Malcolm Jenkins said in October. “He makes you reconsider if you want to be great.”