Ex-Eagles RB Visits Steelers: Nick Sirianni Clarifies Miles Sanders’ Role

Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders

Getty Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders highlight a crowded backfield for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Speculation had been mounting about Jordan Howard potentially returning to the Philadelphia Eagles. Don’t count on it. The one-time Pro Bowl running back visited the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday for a tryout, per the NFL transactions wire.

Devontae Booker – another possible Philly target – worked out for the New York Giants. It appears as if the Eagles are content to roll with just five rushers at camp: Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott, Jason Huntley, and Kennedy Brooks. Remember, the team had been interested in signing veteran back JaQuan Hardy, but decided against it.

Howard was a very productive player for the Eagles, racking up 958 yards on 212 carries. Injuries at the position earned him starter’s reps over the past three seasons but his own health issues limited availability at times. The 6-foot, 224-pounder powered his way to 10 total touchdowns in 19 games. He has also worked out for the New Orleans Saints in recent days.

The 27-year-old was active for the wild-card playoff loss to Tampa Bay – one catch for seven yards – but his last meaningful action came against Washington on January 2. Howard rushed 11 times for 26 yards in that one as part of a three-headed backfield with Scott and Gainwell. And quarterback Jalen Hurts.

“I definitely feel fresh but I don’t have to carry a big workload,” Howard said after that game. “We’ve got three other running backs in the room, we’ve got Jalen [Hurts], and so we’re going to spread it around. We all are going to get ours. We’re all happy when one person makes a play, then the next person is trying to come in and make another play. So we just keep trying to push each other each and every day.”

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Sanders Running with Second Team Offense

Miles Sanders ran exclusively with the second-team offense on Day 2 of training camp. Was he injured? No, Sanders looked fresh and explosive during his reps.

The Eagles are likely just giving other guys looks and getting them comfortable with the first unit. This is a team that likes to pound the rock and spreading the love around the backfield has been the norm going back to Doug Pederson’s days. Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott took the first-team reps on Friday.

Head coach Nick Sirianni explained what happened with Sanders during his media availability on Saturday. It’s no secret: Sanders is “our guy.”

Sirianni said: “Our backs rotate. Those first three backs, Kenny and Miles and Boston, they rotate three plays in and out for the first two sessions of the period. So, the period is split into three areas — ones, twos, threes — and those three guys rotate that area.

“Miles is our guy. Whether it was the way that the reps worked out yesterday that he was in a couple more … Then it just so happened to be the way the numbers worked a little bit. But Miles was in with the ones as well and Miles is our guy. There is no secret. Miles is our guy, and we like to rotate our backs. But he’s the guy.”


Ryan Kerrigan Retires After 11 NFL Seasons

Ryan Kerrigan announced his retirement from the NFL after 11 seasons. The four-time Pro Bowler will sign a one-day contract with the Washington Commanders and make it official. Kerrigan spent 10 seasons in a burgundy and gold uniform, plus a forgettable 2021 season with the Eagles. He couldn’t crack the pass-rushing rotation coming off thumb surgery, finishing with just three tackles on 330 defensive snaps.

Kerrigan was the 16th overall pick in the 2011 draft and made his mark in Washington. He is the franchise’s all-time sack leader (95.5), with 457 career tackles, 26 forced fumbles, and 3 interceptions – all returned for touchdowns.

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