PHILADELPHIA – Miles Sanders, returning Philadelphia Eagles, will play in Sunday’s playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite having a hand surgery less than three weeks ago.
Sanders suffered a fracture in his right hand against the New York Giants on Dec. 26 and had surgery the next day. He has missed the last two games of the regular season but is expected to play a key role against the Bucs, coach Nick Sirianni suggested.
“No restrictions for Miles,” he said. “He’s going to be our guy.”
Starting defensive end Josh Sweat, meanwhile, is doubtful with an illness. He has been dealing with abdominal pain this week, per Sirianni, and missed training on Wednesday and Thursday, but was back at the training facility on Friday. Swit is tied for first on the team with 7.5 sacks.
Sanders did not have a protective gear on his injured right hand when he entered the NovaCare training ring earlier this week. When asked if he would wear anything on Sunday, he replied “nothing really too noticeable.” Sanders said he tested his hand in part this week by going through ball safety drills in which assistant coaches hit the ball and by catching passes from the backfield.
“I will just try to protect it as much as possible, but I will not be hesitant or scared,” Sanders said. “It’s good enough to play. That’s all I know. It’s absolutely good enough to play.”
The Eagles finished the regular season as the top-ranked rushing offense in the NFL, averaging 159.7 yards per game. Sanders was second on the team in rushing yards (754) behind quarterback Jalen Hurts (784) and added 26 catches for 158 yards.
Philadelphia, the No. 7 seed in the NFC, comes in as an 8-point underdog for defending champions Bucs, but Sanders warned people not to sleep on the Eagles (9-8), who won four straight before they rested most of their starters in the regular season finale against the Dallas Cowboys.
“I think everyone should be careful about what they say about us … I think we are a very dangerous team,” he said.