The Eagles put out their final injury report ahead of Sunday’s game versus Cleveland and it looks fairly clean from a player standpoint. Safety Rudy Ford (hamstring) was the only guy ruled out. However, the team will be without Press Taylor (passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach) and Aaron Moorehead (wide receivers coach) due to COVID-19 protocol.
The two offensive coaches join three players — WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, DE Vinny Curry, RB Corey Clement — on the COVID-19 list as people that have either tested positive or been in close contact with someone who did. Ford was the only player listed out with an injury designation, but Lane Johnson (neck) was a limited participant at Friday’s practice. The starting right tackle is expected to play on Sunday after practicing in full for most of the week.
Meanwhile, Isaac Seumalo (knee) carried no injury designation and the starting left guard is slated to come off injured reserve on Saturday. Neither did versatile guard Nate Herbig (finger) who sat out last week against the Giants. He’ll likely move back over to right guard, although Sua Opeta, Jack Driscoll, Matt Pryor remain in the mix if a setback occurs. The Eagles are locked and loaded at some key positions, specifically along the offensive line.
“Yeah, it’s been difficult. I’ll admit, having that — to me offensively you’ve got to have that continuity and that consistency with the up-front guys,” head coach Doug Pederson told reporters. “That’s where everything starts with protection, the run game, all of it, right? It starts with those front five. And having this many combinations through nine, ten, 11 weeks of the season has been a challenge.”
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Zach Ertz Needs ‘Little More Time’
The news wasn’t as good on Zach Ertz as the Pro Bowl tight end continues to battle back from a high ankle sprain. He was activated to the 21-day practice window on Tuesday and hasn’t played since Week 6 (Oct. 18). The 30-year-old was spotted on the practice field this week but he’s still getting up to speed. Ertz isn’t likely to be active this week against Cleveland.
“Zach probably needs a little more time right now, but we’ll get him out there today running around again, see where he’s at,” Pederson said prior to Friday’s practice. “But this was a good week for him. Much like Isaac [Seumalo] was last week, to get him back out there and get him running around with the team again was good. We’ll see at the end of the day how he feels before we make that determination.”
Update on Alshon Jeffery
Alshon Jeffery made his long-awaited return to the Eagles’ lineup last week and saw just 18 offensive snaps. There was a fear the one-time Pro Bowl receiver might take valuable reps away from breakout star Travis Fulgham, but that didn’t happen. Pederson revealed that Jeffery might see a more expanded role this week and the possession receiver has looked “quick” and “fast” at practice.
“I think each day he goes back out on the practice field, he gains confidence through his injury and playing. Limited role last week,” Pederson said. “Would hope to expand that a little more this week and get him some more opportunities in this football game. He catches everything his way, and just a big part of our offense and helping us potentially win.”
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