Darren Sproles to retire after 2019 season

Blake Schuster
·Yahoo Sports Contributor
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 06: Darren Sproles #43 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on to receive a kick during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on October 6, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Jets 31-6. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
Darren Sproles, the NFL's fifth all-time leader in all-purpose yards, is hanging up his cleats at the end of the season. (Corey Perrine/Getty Images)

The long, illustrious career of Darren Sproles is coming to an end.

After 15 years, three Pro Bowls, two First-Team All-Pro selections and a Super Bowl victory in 2017, the Philadelphia Eagles announced Sproles will retire at the end of the season.

A fourth round pick out of Kansas State in the 2005 NFL draft, the 5-foot-6 running back became one of the league’s most well-known multi-purpose players — first with the San Diego Chargers and continuing on with the New Orleans Saints and Eagles.

Sproles, who is currently on injured reserve with a hip injury, will finish with the NFL’s fifth-most all-purpose yards (19,696), behind only Jerry Rice, Brian Mitchell, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith. He currently holds the NFL record for most all-purpose yards in a single season (2,696 yards in 2011) and has set franchise records with each team he’s played for. As incredible as Sproles’ numbers are, it’s amazing to think about what they could’ve been had the speedy back been able to avoid a rash of injuries throughout his career.

In his 15-year career, Sproles only played in all 16 games just five times. He missed the entire 2006 season, played 13 games in 2012 for New Orleans and suited up for 15 games over his last three seasons in Philly.

Sproles remains the all-time leading rusher for Kansas State with 4,979 yards from 2001-04.

He became the first player in NFL history to score their first two touchdowns by kick and punt return in 2007 and has consistently been named among Dante Hall and Devin Hester as the best return specialists in football.

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at blakeschuster@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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