After a promising rookie campaign last year, the Philadelphia Eagles figure to rely pretty heavily on running back Miles Sanders in 2020. However, head coach Doug Pederson will have a difficult decision to make in terms of determining how many touches will help preserve the 23-year-old's legs for the long-term.
We know what you're thinking -- a touch cap for a running back entering Year 2 is asinine. The shelf life for the position is limited anyway, so the Eagles might as well get all they can out of Sanders before he's due for a contract extension down the road.
Who's to say it has to be like that?
In our eyes, giving Sanders anything more than 310 touches would be a serious gamble. Fans in Philadelphia will be quick to remember the drop in production that Brian Westbrook sustained after his career-high 368 touches in his All-Pro 2007 campaign. He totaled just 1,550 rushing yards in the next three seasons, which just so happened to be the last of his underrated career.
You could say that Westbrook was in his fourth year as the Eagles starter in 2007, but the potential consequence of overworking running backs cannot be understated. Something between 15-20 touches per game would be the best way to ensure that Sanders' prime lasts longer that most RBs.
The Eagles struck gold by drafting Sanders in the second round (No. 53 overall) in the 2019 Draft, as he went on to break their rookie record with 1,327 scrimmage yards. We know that Pederson is a huge fan of the Penn State product, but that doesn't mean he should run him into the ground in his second NFL season.