PHILADELPHIA ( - The plan was for Darren Sproles to return to the Eagles lineup Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys.

Hopefully, Doug Pederson used a pencil for the game plan, however, because Sproles aggravated the nagging hamstring injury that has sidelined him since Week 1 at practice on Wednesday and now the 35-year-old is expected to sit out again against Dallas.

That means a mix of Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement, and Josh Adams will handle the workload in the backfield vs. a talented Cowboys defense.

An even bigger issue arises on special teams at punt returner where the Eagles waived DeAndre Carter with the understanding that Sproles would be back in the lineup. The organization planned to add Carter to the practice once he cleared waivers but that never happened with the Houston Texans pouncing and claiming Carter.

Clement returned punts earlier this season but was shaky catching the football in slick conditions against Indianapolis and is likely the next man up for the role. Nelson Agholor has also occasionally taken a rep or two in practice and with Golden Tate now available at receiver, he could theoretically also be a potential answer.

Tate himself has been a dynamic PR in his past and perhaps could do the job in a big spot but it's hard to imagine the Eagles wanting to put a projected key part of the offense in the role consistently.

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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