10 incredible stats to appreciate the greatness of Darren Sproles


Darren Sproles is 36 years old, has played only 17 of a possible 53 games over the last three seasons, and now his 15th NFL season is over, thanks to yet another injury.

Sproles probably won't play football again, which means his career will most likely end with 183 games, 3,552 rushing yards, 553 catches, 8,392 yards from scrimmage and a staggering 19,696 all-purpose yards.

There's never been anybody like him.

Sproles stands 5-foot-6, and nobody 5-6 or shorter is within 10,000 career yards of Sproles in NFL history.

Nobody his size has half as many yards.

Right now, it's easy to think of Sproles as another broken-down veteran who probably stuck around too long.

But pretty soon we'll all look back at his remarkable career and marvel at what he was able to accomplish, especially in those electrifying first three seasons with the Eagles.

Let's start with 10 amazing Darren Sproles stats! 

• Sproles is one of only 31 players in NFL history with 3,500 career yards both rushing and receiving. Of those 31, his 4.9 career rushing average is highest. Hall of Famer Lenny Moore is second at 4.8.

• Despite starting just 31 games in his career, Sproles’ 553 receptions are 12th most in NFL history by a running back.

• Sproles’ nine consecutive seasons with at least 200 yards both rushing and receiving is the sixth-longest streak in NFL history, behind Marshall Faulk, Walter Payton, Thurman Thomas, Matt Forte and Curtis Martin.  

• Sproles’ nine combined punt and kick returns are sixth most in NFL history, behind Devin Hester (19), Brian Mitchell (13), Dante Hall (12), Eric Metcalf (12) and Josh Cribbs (11). 

• Of the 31 players in NFL history with at least two TD returns on both kick and punt returns, Sproles has the fourth-most yards of offense, behind only Hall of Famers Steve Van Buren, Ollie Maison and Gale Sayers.

• Sproles has the seventh-most combined kick and punt return yards in history with 11,313. Four of the top seven on that list played for the Eagles (Mitchell, Allen Rossum, Mel Gray and Sproles).

• In what very well was his second-to-last career game, Sproles passed Hall of Famer Tim Brown and moved into fifth place in NFL history with 19,696 career all-purpose yards. He trails only Jerry Rice, Mitchell, Payton and Emmitt Smith.

• Sproles’ streak of 11 consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 all-purpose yards from 2005 through 2016 is third longest in history behind only 12-year streaks by Frank Gore and Smith. Mitchell and Rice also had streaks of 11 straight years with 1,000 yards. Sproles is the only player in NFL history with four straight seasons with at least 2,200 total yards (2008-11).

• Sproles is the only player in NFL history with 2,500 yards rushing, receiving, returning kicks and returning punts. 

• Sproles and Deion Sanders are the only players in NFL history with four punt return touchdowns after their 30th birthday.

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