Zach Ertz jumps over many hurdles in his newest Visa commercial. But coming back from a lacerated kidney and playing this week seems like a tough one to clear.
Ertz, who is officially listed with a back and rib injury, still hasn’t been cleared for contact ahead of Sunday’s game. The Pro-Bowl tight end was set to undergo one more round of testing to see if he could play on Sunday. He practiced in a limited role on Thursday and there had been growing optimism about his status.
Both Ertz and starting right tackle Lane Johnson were participants at Thursday’s practice. Johnson has expressed an intense desire to play on Sunday — at whatever cost. Ertz, of course, will need medical clearance and likely be a game-time decision.
“We’re waiting on a few doctor results tomorrow,” coach Doug Pederson said of Ertz. “If things go favorably, he’ll play. If they don’t, he won’t.”
Dallas Goedert would draw the start in Ertz’s absence while Halapoulivaati Vaitai would take over for Johnson, with Matt Pryor slipping into Brandon Brooks’ spot at right guard.
Meanwhile, Miles Sanders was back out on the practice field on Friday after missing two straight days. The rookie running back has every intention of playing on Sunday and Pederson told reporters that Sanders was “good to go.”
Eagles Injuries Affecting Offensive Play-Calling
The amount of injuries to the Eagles’ offense has been staggering this season.
The team has literally pulled guys off the street and thrust them into the lineup. For example, Deontay Burnett was signed because he once had a cup of coffee with Josh McCown in New York. Plug and play.
Offensive coordinator Mike Groh talked about the challenge of getting practice-squad players up to speed and integrated into the gameplan.
“You’re just trying to find a starting point, if you will,” said Groh. “What do we know about this guy? In our evaluations of him in their time that they’ve been here, and some of it has been a little bit longer in some cases than others where they haven’t been here very long.”
“So you try to do a great job of evaluating them and the opportunities that you have out there at practice to try to figure out, okay, this is this guy’s skillset,” Groh said. “Thinking’s this is where he could fit in. Try to put him in a position where physically he can be successful, and then not try to overload him with too much so that he gets bogged down and can’t play fast.”