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What D'Andre Swift proved with his Pro Bowl season

D'Andre Swift had a Pro Bowl season with the Eagles in 2023 and proved plenty to the NFL.

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The day before Nick Sirianni announced the Eagles’ Pro Bowlers to the entire team, he called D’Andre Swift to tell him the good news.

After joining the Eagles in a trade this offseason, Swift came home to Philly and has had his first 1,000-yard season and made his first-career Pro Bowl. Shortly after getting the news, Swift called his mom, dad and a few friends.

“My dad was at work,” Swift said of his father Darren, who owns Swift Fit in Philadelphia. “He ran out the gym and starting yelling.”

There’s no question that the 24-year-old is excited about making the Pro Bowl and having his first thousand-yard season. The former second-round pick is having a career season and in doing it in his hometown.

“Being from here, being able to do it in my hometown, it makes it mean so much more,” he said.

What has Swift proven this year?

“A lot,” he said. “But the year ain’t over with yet. I think of it like that. We’ve got a lot of work to be done. We’ll see when it’s all said and done.”

Even though Swift is questionable for the regular season finale against the Giants because of an illness, his 2023 season is already the best of his career. Swift has 229 rushing attempts for 1,049 yards and 5 touchdowns and has also caught 39 passes for 214 yards and another score.

In his three years in Detroit, Swift showed some flashes but was never able to put it all together.

“He always had talent,” said running back Rashaad Penny. “I feel like you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You have talent, unfortunately you have injuries. That’s part of football, that’s part of life. He’s done everything to stay healthy and look what he’s done. He got a Pro Bowl nod and one of the top running backs in the NFC. I’m proud to see it.”

While in Detroit, Swift never became a workhorse back. His career-high in carries came in 2021, when he had 151 attempts. He had just 364 rushing attempts in the first three years of his career.

With the Eagles in 2023, Swift has carried the rock 229 times. Many thought he was always going to be a change-of-pace guy, someone to catch footballs out of the backfield. But Swift has been able to be more than that.

“We knew right away when he was in camp that there was some explosion and some unique ability there,” center Jason Kelce said. “Really, really happy, one, to have him on the team. Two, to be able to block for him because he makes my job a lot easier. And for him to get the recognition as one of the best backs in the league is awesome.”

Of course, a lot of Swift’s stats came early in the season. After barely playing in the opener, Swift took over in Week 2, rushing for 175 yards and followed it up with a 130-yard performance in Week 3. Since then, he hasn’t gone over 100 yards in any game. But he has been a consistent playmaker and has had big drives when the Eagles really needed them.

The Eagles have been using a committee at running back all season but Swift has taken the lead.

“I’m real proud of him, man,” Kenny Gainwell said. “He’s more than capable of doing that and he did it. It was never a doubt about that running back room. I feel like any of us in that room could have got it but I’m very proud of him. He worked real hard.”

While Swift played 13, 13 and 14 games in his three seasons with Detroit, he did earn a reputation for being injured. He suffered through several injuries during that time, which probably held him back from reaching his potential.

We’ll see what happens in Week 18, but Swift has already played in a career-high 16 games this season and he’s started the last 15. Swift has finally been healthy this year.

“I think that’s probably the most important thing other than his accolades,” Penny said. “Seeing him healthy and showing what he can do. That’s what people really wanted to see and they got it.”

Even after the biggest workload of his career, Swift this week said he is feeling fine physically.

“I’m good,” he said. “I’m ready to go.”

The question this offseason becomes about Swift’s future. He is playing this season on the final year of his rookie contract as a second-round pick out of Georgia in 2020, which means Swift will be a free agent come March.

We know the Eagles philosophically prefer to not pay running backs. It’s why they let Miles Sanders walk last offseason and then traded for Swift to replace him. We’ll see what happens with Swift in a few month.

For now, Swift thinks that this season he answered a lot of the questions people were asking about him.

“But like I said, it ain’t over with yet,” Swift said. “Any other questions anybody got or anything like that, I’ll be able to answer them when it’s all said and done.”

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