Philadelphia Eagles: Boston Scott can unseat Darren Sproles in Week 6

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Now officially elevated to the active roster, Boston Scott will have a chance to unseat Darren Sproles as the Philadelphia Eagles scatback moving forward.

After weeks and weeks of anticipation – mostly by yours truly – the Boston Scott-era has officially begun for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now sure, technically speaking, the Boston Scott-era briefly began in December of 2018, when the former Saints sixth-round pick made four appearances as the Birds’ primary kick returner, but this time feels different – this time is different.

First, the basic information: After sustaining a shoulder injury, the Eagles have officially placed local fan favorite Corey Clement on IR and filled his vacated roster spot with Scott. While losing Clement for at least the next 10 weeks isn’t that big of a deal, as the Wisconsin UDFA was mostly played on special teams so far this season, the move became a necessary one when coupled with a quadricep strain suffered by Darren Sproles earlier this month.

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Now some fans will say that this move is nominal at best, and to be fair, it very well may be, but what if it amounts to more? What if, if given a chance to earn offensive snaps, Scott flashes an explosive playmaking ability and firmly cements himself as the next Sproles.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, it shouldn’t.

Coming out of college, LA Tech to be specific, Scott received favorable comps to Sproles. Coming out of college, Scott looked like Sproles for goodness sake. Measuring in at an almost identical 5-foot-6 – though Scott has Sproles beat at 203 pounds versus 190 – Scott served as the Bulldogs scatback from 2015-17, running a number of very similar sets to how Chip Kelly, and later Doug Pederson used Sproles in the run game.

While he wasn’t considered a can’t miss prospect, clearly the New Orleans Saints saw enough in Scott to select him in the sixth round.

Now typically speaking, players selected in the sixth round aren’t going to garner massive headlines, or huge roles at their given position, but the fact that the Saints opted to draft Scott over almost any other team holds significantly more weight because of Sproles – namely that the team has been trying to replace his production since letting him walk back in 2014.

Sure, the team had already had Alvin Kamara, the league’s premier change of pace back, on their roster, but the very fact that they still valued Scott highly enough to select him 201st overall in the 2018 draft speaks volumes.

So when it became clear that the actual Darren Sproles couldn’t be consistently relied upon week-in and week-out for the 2018 Eagles, the decision to pluck Scott off the Saints practice squad became obvious.

And it worked.

While Scott didn’t play a single snap on the offensive side of the ball in 2018, the Eagles clearly saw enough in the rookie to keep him around going into 2019 to compete for the team’s then-vacant scatback role..

Granted,  the role wasn’t vacent for long, as Sproles ‘retirement’ was once again rebuffed by a surprise turn of face, but that didn’t affect Scott one bit, as the sophomore shined in preseason play as a reserve runner – amassing 40 rushing yards, 129 kick return yards and a touchdown over four games.

Scott played so well over the summer that he single-highhandedly ended certified draft bust Donnel Pumphrey‘s (hopefully) final chance to make the Eagles roster after three straight summers of mediocre play, an accomplishment that should be lauded.

And now, with both Sproles and Clement out for Week 6 against the Minnesota Vikings, Scott could have an opportunity to prove once and for all that he deserves a place in the team’s plans moving forward.

Over the last five weeks, the Vikings defense has given up 21 passes to opposing running backs for 116 yards and two touchdowns. While those numbers aren’t great, especially when compared to the 293 yards the team has given up to tight ends on 13 more catches, they do highlight an ability for offensive signal-callers to attack the Vikings through the air with receivers coming out of the backfield – especially receivers like Scott who aren’t heavily featured in the game plan.

This gives Scott an advantage, as does his deceptive ability to pass block out of the backfield.

Despite his lack of height, Scott is stout, build, and incredibly strong (more on that here). If he can prove a consistent ability to pick up rushers off the edge and support the line when his number is called, a niche role could become more and more defined with each passing game.

Look, if we’re being honest, between Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders there weren’t even enough snaps to keep Darren Sproles regularly involved, let alone Corey Clement, but with only three backs active for Week 6 – and possibly beyond – Boston Scott has a chance to earn his first offensive snaps as a professional; what he does with those snaps could ultimately define his career with the Philadelphia Eagles moving forward.

Next. The Jalen Mills Renaissance is (almost) upon us. dark

For the first time (maybe) in history, there’s a Boston that fans in Philadelphia will actively be rooting for; that in and of itself is noteworthy.