Eagles bring back RB Jay Ajayi after sending Darren Sproles to IR with torn hip flexor

After losing running back Darren Sproles for the rest of the year, the Philadelphia Eagles are now turning to an old friend.

The Eagles signed running back Jay Ajayi on Friday after placing Sproles on injured reserve, the team announced. 

Ajayi had 184 yards and three touchdowns on 45 carries for the Eagles last season, though played in just four games after suffering an ACL injury in October. The 26-year-old hasn’t played since. 

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There is a chance that Ajayi suits up on Sunday, too, as starting running back Jordan Howard is still recovering from a minor shoulder injury and has not been cleared to return. Rookie Miles Sanders, who had 42 yards on 10 carries earlier this month in their win against the Chicago Bears, is expected to start in Howard’s place.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Friday that he would be comfortable giving Ajayi snaps on Sunday in their game against the New England Patriots, but acknowledged that he isn’t the only backup option he has. 

“Don’t lose sight, too, De’Angelo Henderson is on our practice squad,” Pederson said, via ESPN. “He’s another candidate that has been working really hard in our offense, knows our system, and has been here, too. So we have a couple of options there.

“If it’s Jay, and really if it’s either one, I think we can give them a little bit of work.”

Philadelphia signed running back Jay Ajayi on Friday after Darren Sproles suffered a season-ending hip flexor injury. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Sproles sent to IR, hints at end of career

Sproles partially tore his right hip flexor muscle in October. He tried to return nearly a month later, though reportedly felt pain again at practice this week — which led to further testing to reveal the torn muscle, ending his season. The 36-year-old ran for 66 yards on 17 carries in six games for Philadelphia this season.

Sproles, who signed a one-year deal with the Eagles this offseason, knows that this may be the end of the line for his lengthy NFL career, too — which started when the San Diego Chargers selected him in the fourth round of the 2005 draft.

“If I never put on that No. 43 again I have no regrets,” Sproles wrote, in part, on Instagram. “I gave it my all and I hope I made my family proud.”

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