Two huge question marks for the Eagles might have answers. Lane Johnson appears to be out, but Zach Ertz has a chance to play.
There were two different reports making the rounds on Saturday updating the status of the key starters. Johnson reportedly won’t play due to an inability to plant his foot and move easily from side to side, per NBC Sports’ John Clark.
The right tackle was originally diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain that was thought to be a four to six-week injury. He’s only been out for four weeks.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai will draw the start at right tackle in Johnson’s absence, with Matt Pryor sliding over to right guard as Brandon Brooks’ replacement. The Eagles are 3-0 since Vaitai took over for Johnson.
Ertz, on the other hand, is dealing with a near-fatal condition after suffering a lacerated kidney and fractured rib. According to NBC Sports’ Derrick Gunn, the Eagles tight end has been cleared for contact by team doctors and has a chance to suit up against Seattle.
Ertz has been telling anyone who would listen that he wants to play. It was just a matter of getting cleared. Well, that final hurdle has reportedly been taken care of and he should be out there versus Seattle.
Receiver Nelson Agholor is the only player officially ruled out for Sunday. Ertz was a limited participant at Friday’s practice while Johnson didn’t take part in the session.
“We’re waiting on a few doctor results tomorrow,” head coach Doug Pederson said of Ertz on Friday. “If things go favorably, he’ll play. If they don’t, he won’t.”
Eagles Release Official Hype Video for Sunday
Some fans wait all week for the team’s official hype video. The Eagles let the momentum build before dropping it on Saturday afternoon, almost 24 hours before their wild-card playoff game.
It’s a gem, too. There is an overriding sense of “now is all we need” as the camera pans to some of their toughest losses and biggest doubters. In it, national pundits deem the Eagles as one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL and there is even a brief cameo from former cornerback-turned-snitch Orlando Scandrick.
Carli Lloyd — the U.S. Women’s National Team superstar and Delran, NJ native — narrates the hype video and talks about the team “narrowing the focus” and concentrating on the “here and now.” It closes with a familiar rallying cry: “All we got, all we need.”
Harold Carmichael Tabbed Honorary Team Captain
Legendary receiver Harold Carmichael will serve as the honorary alumni captain for the Eagles-Seahawks game. His role will involve being on the field for the opening coin toss and standing for what is sure to be a raucous ovation from the home crowd.
Carmichael played 12 seasons in Philadelphia (1971-83) and ranks first on the franchise’s all-time receiving list with 8,978 yards. The 70-year-old was recently named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of their special centennial class.
He is one of 20 “senior players” up for enshrinement after the league decided to induct 10 seniors for the 100th anniversary. Carmichael led the league in receptions in 1973 and earned four Pro-Bowl nods while catching 589 passes for 8,978 yards and 79 touchdowns.
Remember, Carmichael was also a fixture in the Eagles’ organization where he helped out as an assistant coach and served as director of player and community relations. Former head coach Chip Kelly started phasing him out of his front-office duties in 2013 and Carmichael eventually quit the job in 2015. Another bridge burned by the little tyrant.
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