Eagles ‘hopeful’ Miles Sanders will play vs. Tampa Bay

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The Eagles got to the playoffs in large part due to their running game. If they are going to advance in the playoffs they are going to need to continue to have a dominant running game.

A big part of making that happen is getting starting running back Miles Sanders back and active against Tampa Bay, something head coach Nick Sirianni said on Monday he is “hopeful” will happen.

Sirianni would not commit to Sanders, who is recovering from a broken hand, playing against Tampa Bay but did note that the reason the Eagles didn’t put him on injured reserve was that they believed it wouldn’t be a three-week injury.

Sanders hasn’t played the last two games. This upcoming Sunday would be three weeks.

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Sirianni has done a good job not giving away much injury information through the media this year, but the Eagles not placing Sanders on injured reserve is likely a good sign they believe he will indeed play against Tampa Bay.

Getting Sanders back will be a boost for the Eagles. Sanders totaled 251 yards vs. the Jets and Washington before suffering the hand injury vs. New York. He was averaging 6.4 yards-per-carry before leaving the game against the Giants. The Eagles had just 118 rushing yards in the one game their starters played without Sanders, their lowest total since played the Buccaneers back in Week 6 , when they had just 100 yards.

Even if Sanders is active it is unclear if he will go back to the full workload he was getting before the injury. The Eagles have Boston Scott, Jordan Howard an Kenny Gainwell to lean on if needed, and considering the ball security issues a hand injury presents, leaning on Sanders too much might be risky.

The Eagles return to practice on Wednesday, the first time they will have to fill out an official injury report. That should be our first indication of just how real Sanders returning is.

All indications, however, are that Sanders should be in uniform vs. Tampa Bay.

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com