Zach Ertz wasn’t going to sit this one out. Not a playoff game, not after all his teammates had endured and battled back from this season.
The Eagles tight end was rushed to the hospital after the team beat the Cowboys in Week 16. He had a lacerated kidney, a sore back and a fractured rib. Still, Ertz kept telling everyone he was good to go. He intended to suit and play in Sunday’s wild-card playoff game against Seattle. True to his word, Ertz did. He caught two balls for 44 yards in a losing effort.
After the game, Ertz got extremely emotional when explaining what went into him returning for the game. He had been awaiting medical clearance all week and finally got the good news on Saturday. He was allowed to play and he did.
“I just wanted it to be black and white,” Ertz told reporters. “Honestly, I took the emotion out of it. I said, ‘Hey, I wanted it to be clear. I didn’t want it to be a grey area where it was an emotional decision. It was unanimous and I was good to play and I knew that there was a plan and a reason and I was good to go.”
Ertz fought through tears throughout his exchange with the media in the post-game locker room. He credited his faith first and foremost for helping him survive the highs and lows.
“It hurts. There’s been a lot of highs and lows,” Ertz said. “My faith has kept me through it. There was a plan for me.”
Where Was Jordan Howard in Eagles Loss to Seahawks?
Miles Sanders carried 14 times for 69 yards. Boston Scott rushed six times for 25 yards. Jordan Howard was nowhere to be seen once again.
Howard’s role came into question early in the third quarter when the Eagles were driving. They had moved the ball all the way down to the Seattle 5-yard line but a delay of game penalty backed them up five yards. The team had to settle for a 26-yard field goal off the foot of Jake Elliott as a result.
But Howard never entered the screen, never was an option despite being five yards away from pay dirt at one point. Where was he? He didn’t play a single snap against Seattle and only took one snap in Week 17 versus New York.
Howard, of course, is a free agent in 2020 and there has been no talk of extending the bruising running back. He was the Eagles’ leading rusher — 525 yards and seven total touchdowns — through the team’s first nine games before suffering a lingering shoulder “stinger.”
“I could’ve played but I don’t know how effective I would’ve been,” Howard said, via NJ Advance Media. “I don’t know how it would’ve been getting in and stuff like that since it had been so long since I played.”
Will he return to Philadelphia next year?
“I’m hoping to stay,” Howard said. “I hope to be back but I’m not sure.”
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