Darren Sproles moves to fifth in career all-purpose yards

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles moved into fifth place in career all-purpose yards,reaching the mark on a punt return in the third quarter of Sunday's 31-6 win over theNew York Jets.

He moved past Tim Brown (19,682) and into the company of Jerry Rice (23,546), Brian Mitchell (23,330), Walter Payton (21,803) and Emmitt Smith (21,564).Sproles limped off the field a few plays after the punt return and did not return. He exited the game with 19,684 career all-purpose yards.

"When I first came in, they told me that I wouldn't last a year. My main thing was to prove to everybody I could last longer than a year," Sproles told ESPN last month when asked whether he had this type of career in mind when he started out. "That was my main goal."

Sproles, at 5-foot-6, has spent much of his career being underestimated because of his height. Fourteen running backs went ahead of him in the 2005 NFL draft before the San Diego Chargers selected him 130th overall in the fourth round. Of that group, only he and Frank Gore are still playing.

Sproles, 36, said he was motivated to return for his 15th NFL season in part so he could finish his career fifth in all-purpose yards.

He also returned to honor an agreement. His daughter made a bet with him: If she qualified for the Junior Olympics, he had to play one more year. She qualified, and Sproles obliged.

Sproles, a three-time Pro Bowler, is the only player in NFL history to record more than 30 receiving touchdowns (32), more than 20 rushing TDs (23), in addition to at least one kickoff return touchdown (2) and at least one punt return TD (7).
Copyright © 2021 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.