The Eagles saw two key players headline Friday’s injury report as All-Pro center Jason Kelce (elbow) and edge rusher Derek Barnett (knee) were limited participants. The two impact starters were also listed on Thursday’s “estimated” injury report, although the team didn’t practice due to Thanksgiving.
Kelce is seeking to make his 100th consecutive start and told reporters earlier this week that he plans to play. The 33-year-old veteran hurt his left elbow last week against Cleveland and left the game for a few plays at the end of the first half. The injury isn’t deemed serious enough to hold him out.
“It’s responding well,” Kelce said of his elbow injury on Wednesday. “It was pretty swollen Monday after the game. But I’ll be ready to go this week. It’s feeling surprisingly pretty good.”
Barnett was injured in the third quarter versus Cleveland when his right knee smashed into Baker Mayfield. The Browns quarterback was going down on a strip-sack from Fletcher Cox. The former first-round pick played 38 defensive snaps last week and blocked a field goal on special teams. He has 4.5 sacks and 11 quarterback hits in nine games this year. Remember, the Eagles picked up the fifth-year option on Barnett at around $10 million and it’s guaranteed for injury.
The other limited Eagles players at Thursday’s practice included tackle Jack Driscoll (knee), running back Boston Scott (abdomen), linebacker Alex Singleton (ankle) while right tackle Lane Johnson (ankle) and safety Rudy Ford (hamstring) didn’t participate. Johnson has been ruled out for the rest of the year.
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No Update on Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz
The Eagles provided no additional injury update for Zach Ertz. The three-time Pro Bowl tight end was activated to the 21-day practice window on Nov. 16 and has been spotted participating in individual drills on the practice field.
The team doesn’t have to make a decision on him until Saturday. Head coach Doug Pederson hinted at Ertz possibly being able to make it back for Monday night’s game versus Seattle during his media availability on Wednesday.
“Zach is trending in the right direction,” Pederson told reporters. “He’ll be back out there today [Wednesday] in our walk-through and our practice this afternoon. So, I’m optimistic and hopefully he comes away and feels good after today’s practice.”
Ertz celebrated his 30th birthday on Nov. 10 and took to Twitter to thank his many fans, plus offer an encouraging message saying: “The best is yet to come!! Thank you!!” Ertz is embroiled in a tense contract negotiation with the Eagles’ front office. He wants an extension that pays him in line with Travis Kelce and George Kittle, the NFL’s two most elite tight ends. Will it happen? No one knows for sure.
Carson Wentz: ‘No Panic’ in Locker Room
Carson Wentz might be dealing with the most challenging (read: frustratingly disappointing) season of his five-year career. There have been multiple calls to bench him or, worse yet, trade the franchise quarterback. Wentz has taken it all in stride and explained how he deals with adversity.
“Anytime you go through adversity in life, in football, in relationships, anything, whatever … you’re going to learn and you’re going to come out of it better and changed,” Wentz told reporters earlier this week. “And it’s up to you on how you’re going to be changed. Is it going to be for the better or for the worse?”
As far as all the negativity affecting the locker room, well it hasn’t crept in. Not yet. Wentz hasn’t sensed any panic or quit in the 2020 Eagles.
“No panic in this building,” Wentz said. “It really comes down to the locker room coming together even tighter in these tough times and saying it doesn’t matter what kind of hole we’re in or what kind of situation. We’re going to dig ourselves out of it and fight like heck to get out of here and that’s really been the resonating message over the years.”
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