The good news is Dallas Goedert participated in Thursday’s practice and ran routes with Carson Wentz. The hulking tight end told reporters “it’s been a blast” being back around the guys, although he wouldn’t commit to being on the field on Sunday night.
Goedert, nursing a high-ankle sprain, was activated to the 21-day practice window this week after missing four straight games. The Eagles are being cautious with their star tight end.
“For Sunday, we’re still just day-to-day,” Goedert said. “I went out there and ran some routes with Carson today but we’re still taking it slow, making sure everything is where it’s supposed to be.”
Goedert said he was “feeling good” but the decision to return isn’t entirely up to him. It’s a three-pronged decision involving himself, team doctors, and coaches — that, and Goedert doesn’t want to come back if he’s not 100% healthy. In order to get cleared for Sunday, the South Dakota State product must be able to sustain blocks and run crisp routes without feeling any pain in his ankle.
“I need to be able to sit there and have someone pushing against me while I’m pushing back against them,” Goedert said. “I can’t go out there at 75% and just get covered, I’m just a waste, so just making sure I’m feeling good, I look good … whether or not they think I’m in a good enough position to play.”
For now, Goedert is taking it slow and trying to rebuild chemistry with Wentz. The Eagles started Richard Rodgers at tight end last week with both Goedert and Zach Ertz out. Ertz was placed on IR last week with his own high-ankle sprain and will reportedly miss four to six weeks.
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Goedert Not Used to Injury, Missing Time
Goedert wasn’t able to be around the guys in the locker room while on IR, so he kept tabs on the team’s vibe by talking to his roommate, Avonte Maddox. He was in the building every day at 8 a.m. for treatment but couldn’t see anyone. He went through a bevy of daily tests, including an underwater treadmill and resistance training.
“Hoping for less pain each day with the movements I was doing,” Goedert said. “I was able to continue the range of motion, without all the force of my body weight.”
Goedert was injured on Oct. 27 when Bengals linebackers Germaine Pratt and Josh Bynes landed awkwardly on his lower body. The result was a “little fracture” in his tibia and a high-ankle sprain. Missing time wasn’t something the third-year tight end was used to. And it was painful for him to sit up in the suite during home games with the practice-squad players, away from his teammates on the 53-man.
“I never really had missed a game in my college or high school career,” Goedert said. “In the NFL, I didn’t play against Atlanta last year but that was my only missed game so this was kind of my first real injury. Thankfully, it wasn’t worse than it was and I’m able to be back out here.”
He’s been in every meeting since coming off IR while studying the gameplan for Dallas. Goedert said he has to know the “ins and outs of everything” in case they make him active.
“So that’s the main thing,” Goedert said. “Just making sure I know what Carson’s thinking, the different looks we’re going to see, making sure we’re on the same page so if I do happen to play that weekend.”
Impressed by Travis Fulgham, John Hightower
Goedert mentioned he was impressed by what guys like Travis Fulgham and John Hightower had been accomplishing. Fulgham has been a breakout star — 23 receptions for 357 yards and three TDs in four games — while Hightower caught a 59-yard bomb for a key first down last week. The Eagles are receiving unexpected contributions up and down the roster.
“We got some young guys stepping up,” Goedert said. “We got G Ward [Greg Ward], Fulgham, John Hightower, Jalen Reagor and just the other guys … JJ [Arcega-Whiteside] … we can just stick them in and do whatever. We’ll keep running our offense with different people in different positions.”
Plus, the Eagles are getting healthy at the right time. Including Goedert himself.
“We just got so many people close to coming back,” Goedert said. “It’s going to be fun to see what this team can do here in the next few weeks.”
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