Eagles Star RB Reveals His Conditioning ‘Kind of a Problem’

Getty Eagles RB Miles Sanders

Miles Sanders went off for 131 total yards, including 95 on the ground. He was basically the entire offense.

Yet Sanders struggled early in the Eagles’ 37-19 loss and fumbled on the third play of the game, a costly turnover that led to a Rams touchdown. He made it up for it with his own touchdown. However, it was what the second-year running back mentioned after the game that seemed slightly worrisome. Sanders said he “felt good, felt fresh” before admitting that maybe his conditioning was “kind of a problem.”

Remember, the feature back sat out the Week 1 matchup in Washington with a hamstring injury. The Eagles shut him down on Aug. 19 so he didn’t really have a true training camp in terms of getting the reps in.

“My conditioning was kind of a problem in the game,” Sanders told reporters. “But I still just toughed it out and I’m still out there for my team. I still feel fresh, despite the fumble – I take that; that’s on me. I didn’t have a training camp or like weeks of practice. This week was my only week of practice, like full practice.”

When asked to elaborate about what went wrong on that first-quarter fumble, he mentioned that he was carrying the ball too low and Rams linebacker Micah Kiser knocked it out. Sanders wasn’t making excuses but he interestingly brought up the lack of practice time again.

“Like I said, I didn’t have a whole camp. I’m not making excuses either, but I didn’t have a whole camp to get the hits,” Sanders said. “I didn’t have those scrimmages or anything like that. So like I said, this was my first full week of practice.”

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Offensive Line Steps Up, Opens Running Lanes

Not only did the Eagles’ offensive line protect Carson Wentz and keep him clean, but the guys up front also opened up huge running lanes for Sanders. They surrendered zero sacks while paving the way for 121 total rushing yards.

Sanders had 95 of those yards on 20 carries, with Boston Scott chipping in 19 on four carries. The team averaged 4.7 yards per carry.

“The line did a hell of a job. They’ve been blocking their ass off all week and today,” Sanders said. “They did a good job of containing [Aaron Donald]. They’re a two-gap offense, so I was just using the double teams.”

Donald, that “monster” and “game-wrecker” from Pittsburgh, had a quiet game as the Eagles stuck double teams on him all afternoon. Isaac Seumalo did a really nice job on Donald, too, in some brief one-on-one work before leaving late in the second quarter with a knee injury.

The starting left guard didn’t return and hopefully, he’ll be back next week. The other four guys on the line held their blocks and assignments, especially right tackle Lane Johnson who locked down the right tackle spot after missing Week 1.

“I think he is by far a generational talent that can wreck a game,” center Jason Kelce said of Donald. “You can see he was getting frustrated because he knows we are making it extra hard for him. I thought we did a pretty good job of stopping him and the majority of their players in terms of pass rush.”

Matt Pryor stepped in at left guard in Seumalo’s absence and played well in relief. Remember, the unit watched Washington blitz at will last week and record eight sacks. It was a point of emphasis all week, particularly with the running backs and tight ends in pass protection.

“I thought they, overall, played well,” Pederson said. “Played better than the week before and again, it’s a good defensive front that we played.”

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