Eagles Offer Contradictory Updates on Jordan Howard, Zach Ertz

Zach Ertz

Getty Eagles tight end Zach Ertz dropped two big passes Sunday versus Miami, including a possible touchdown catch.

One of the great mysteries stemming from Sunday was the lack of touches for Jordan Howard. Lack, as in zero.

The veteran running back was active for the game but the Eagles decided to keep Howard on the bench. When Miles Sanders was downgraded to out with a bad ankle, the next man up should have been Howard.

Nope. It was Boston Scott.

According to Doug Pederson, Howard’s conditioning isn’t quite up to standard as he continues to build up to “game shape” after missing nearly six weeks with a lingering shoulder injury.

“We just wanted to make sure that Jordan was ready to go,” the head coach told reporters. “Again, we talked about the conditioning last week and things of that nature and risking anything further with him.”

It almost sounded like Pederson was challenging Howard to get in gear. (Remember, he offered a similar comment in regard to Sidney Jones.) For now, let’s take the Visor at his word.

“I would expect that his workload would increase a little bit more this week as he gets more into game shape and game ready,” Pederson continued about Howard. “We’ll have a plan for Jordan moving forward, and he’s going to have to play coming down the stretch here.“

Zach Ertz May Not Have Lacerated Kidney

A report surfaced on Sunday claiming they Zach Ertz suffered a lacerated kidney against Dallas. It’s a condition that involves internal bleeding and can be fatal.

Ertz didn’t play versus New York and his status remains in jeopardy for the playoffs. The Eagles are calling it a “rib and back” injury while Doug Pederson dismissed it as anything more serious than that.

“I’m no medical doctor so I don’t know. I don’t believe a lot of those reports obviously,” the head coach said. “But I know this: Zach is a tough guy and we’re going to be smart obviously. We’re going to do our due diligence before we put any injured player back out on the field.”

That being said, Pederson revealed that the Pro-Bowl tight end may return to practice this week. As great as the fill-in and practice-squad players have been — guys like Deontay Burnett, Josh Perkins, Boston Scott, Robert Davis — it would be a huge boost to get Carson Wentz’s favorite target back.

“Ertz is another one we are going to monitor each day this week,” Pederson said. “We can incorporate him back into practice and see where he is at at the end of the week and make a decision then.”

No disrespect to the other guys. Without them, the Eagles likely wouldn’t be in the position they are in.

Said Pederson: “The confidence I think that the team has that it doesn’t matter who is in the lineup, we’re going to somehow find a way to get the job done.”

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