Miles Sanders only saw seven carries in Super Bowl LVII. He exited the game early with an undisclosed injury, then returned to sit aimlessly on the sideline as the Philadelphia Eagles lost by three points. The whole situation seemed a bit awkward, and no one ever addressed what happened.
That is, until now. Sanders, who inked a $25.4 million contract with Carolina, brought up his lack of usage in the Super Bowl the other day at Panthers OTAs. The Pro Bowl running back told reporters to ask the Eagles why he saw just 26 snaps in the biggest game of the year.
“Last game of the season? For all of the marbles? Everybody can answer that question,” Sanders told The Associated Press. “If they put themselves in my shoes, would they be happy? I don’t want to make headlines, (but) if it does, I don’t care.”
Yikes. Sanders clearly wanted to air his grievances publicly after the team chose to move on from him in the offseason. He took his talents to Carolina and never got a reason why the Eagles let him go. They never even made a competitive offer in free agency.
“I can get into that another day, maybe,” Sanders said. “Maybe you should ask them why I’m moving here.”
Panthers See Miles Sanders as ‘Three-Down Back’
The falling out with Sanders is a weird thing to look back on. Head coach Nick Sirianni went to great lengths to defend the star back throughout the 2022 campaign, especially after a report came out saying Sanders was getting second-team reps at training camp. Still, Sirianni dressed his kids up in No. 26 jerseys and playfully jabbed reporters about Sanders being “our guy.”
“Definitely getting in the groove – my job is to be ready whenever they call my number,” Sanders said after rushing for a then-career high 134 yards against the Jaguars. “Whenever they call my number, I’m going to be ready, regardless.”
Sanders was the undisputed starter last year in Philly, but the Eagles experimented with using Kenny Gainwell as the third-down back. It worked and Sanders seemed okay taking a back seat at times. Now, proudly donning Carolina blue, he’s entrenched as a three-down back.
“Miles is a three-down back and he can do a little bit of everything,” Panthers head coach Frank Reich told WNCT9 News. “He’s explosive, he’s fast and he has good vision and patience. Really smart. And on third down, when he has to block, he’s a willing blocker.”
Sirianni Hypes Up Revamped RB Room
Sirianni seemed extra amped up about his revamped running backs room when asked about the group during Eagles OTAs. There is going to be a “deep” competition there once training camp starts, highlighted by a battle for the starting spot between D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny. However, look further down the depth chart. Sirianni likes what some of the guys on the roster bubble bring to the table.
“We have Trey [Sermon], too, who we’re really excited about, and Kennedy Brooks is doing a nice job,” Sirianni told reporters. “Man, we have a really deep room there. You’re excited about the competition that we’re going to have there.”