PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders will play in Sunday’s playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite having hand surgery less than three weeks ago.
Sanders suffered a broken right hand against the New York Giants on Dec. 26 and had surgery the following day. He missed the last two games of the regular season but should play an important role against the Bucs, coach Nick Sirianni suggested.
“No limitations for Miles,” he said. “He will be our guy.”
Starting defensive end Josh Sweat, meanwhile, is questionable with an illness. He suffered from abdominal pain this week, according to Sirianni, and missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but was back at the training facility on Friday. Sweat is tied for first on the team with 7.5 sacks.
Sanders had no protective gear on his injured right hand when he entered the NovaCare training bubble earlier this week. When asked if he would wear anything on his hand on Sunday, he said “nothing really too noticeable”. Sanders said he tested the hand this week in part by performing ball safety drills where assistant coaches hit the ball and catch passes out of the backfield.
“I’m just going to try to protect him as much as possible, but I’m not going to be hesitant or shy,” Sanders said. “It’s good enough to play. That’s all I know. It’s definitely good enough to play.”
The Eagles finished the regular season as the NFL’s top-ranked rushing offense, 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 NFC’s No. 7 seed, enters as an 8½-point underdog for the defending champion Bucs, but Sanders warned people not to sleep on the Eagles (9-8), who have won four straight before resting most of their starters. in the regular season finale against the Dallas Cowboys.
“I think everyone should be careful what they say about us. … I think we’re a very dangerous team,” he said.