Miles Sanders will have a lot on his plate this upcoming season after an impressive rookie campaign in 2019. The young running back will have to avoid having a sophomore slump as he will have a stranglehold on the lead role. Many fans, like myself, were excited to see a star running back emerge as Sanders got a taste of being a workhorse as the season progressed. Head coach Doug Pederson relied heavily on Sanders even though the Eagles also had running back Jordan Howard available for the first half of the season. Sanders' rookie season was not off to a hot start. Some fans were looking to have Sanders lose snaps and to lean on Howard, who was proving to be the hot hand at the time. Pederson must have seen something in the rookie that nobody else saw at the moment, as he ignored the criticism and stayed with Sanders despite his struggles.
Sticking with Sanders would soon pay off as the playmaker adjusted to the league's speed and made several incredible key plays that got him recognized as a candidate for Rookie of the Year, but would later come in fourth place behind some truly great rookies. Take a look at Sanders' highlights for 2019 down below.
The Eagles offense relied on Sanders to be the spark that would get the offense up and running many times last season. The way the 2020 roster is looking, with the wide receiver position less than ideal once again, they will be counting on Sanders to get the ball rolling. At this time, the Eagles only have two other running backs on the roster -- Boston Scott, who finally had a breakout season with the Birds last season, as well as Elijah Holyfield, son of former professional world champion boxer Evander Holyfield.
Scott will certainly be getting more carries this upcoming season as long as he proves himself to be as productive as he was in 2019. Earning himself the recognition of being a successor of Darren Sproles. However, once quarterback Carson Wentz gained chemistry with Sanders in the passing game, they will be splitting that receiving 'back role. Down below is some highlights of Scott's break out season.
Holyfield only has 19 carries for 79 yards in his first season with the Carolina Panthers, and now will be spending his second season with the Birds. It's unclear what other running backs will be brought into camp. If Holyfield does win a spot on the 53-man roster, he will not be taking many carries away from Sanders despite the Eagles usually having the running back by committee approach.
The Eagles have some options to help Sanders with his workload and not leaving him out to dry. I think it will be crucial in his development that the staff helps him through his second season by not draining the young star both physically and mentally.
However, Sanders was thrown into the lion's den his first season and managed to rush for 818 yards with 509 receiving yards and six total touchdowns. There were no other rookie running back I would rather have in his place to count on as a leader and productive member of the team. I think Sanders will handle his second season well, and maybe even break his first season's personal bests, but time will tell if he gets cursed by the sophomore slump.