Eagles Detail Plan for Returning Pro Bowl TE: ‘Ramp Him In There’

Packers Ertz Trade Offer

Getty Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates his touchdown with teammate Alshon Jeffery #17 in the second quarter against the New York Giants on October 11,2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

It sounds like the Eagles are going to take it slow with returning tight end Zach Ertz this week. The three-time Pro Bowler was activated to the 21-day practice window on Tuesday and he trotted out onto the field in South Philly for his first practice in a month. He wasn’t listed on the team’s injury report because he hasn’t yet been added to the active roster.

Ertz, who suffered a high ankle sprain on Oct. 18, may be a game-time decision for Philadelphia in Week 11. Reading between the tea leaves a bit, the Eagles don’t want to put too much on his plate too soon. Doug Pederson indicated that he’ll ease Ertz back into the offense and his status won’t affect the gameplan one way or the other. The team has until Saturday to make a final decision.

“I expect Zach just to kind of get back within the offense, get comfortable again,” Pederson told reporters on Wednesday. “We’re going to ramp him in there and see where he’s at today. Then honestly defenses I think haven’t really done much different. You look at the red zone maybe and some on third down but first and second down stuff they’re just playing their defenses, so really with Zach in there or without, these guys defensively, they’re just playing their stuff.”

There were only two players on Wednesday’s injury report: linebacker Shaun Bradley (illness) and safety Rudy Ford (hamstring). Those guys are vital on special teams but the protected practice-squad players (Grayland Arnold, Raequan Williams, Caleb Wilson) could certainly eat up those snaps if they can’t go on Sunday. Good news, Philly is finally getting healthy and they have options.

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Eagles Update Jalen Reagor’s Production

Rookie receiver Jalen Reagor has missed a lot of practice time after battling back from two separate injuries. He has 12 catches for 159 yards and one touchdown in four games. Both Reagor and quarterback Carson Wentz have admitted that chemistry has been an issue early in the year but the duo is working on it. They hope to be an explosive combination for years and years to come.

“That’s why I’m excited for really the second half of the season,” Wentz said. “I think we’re getting a lot of experience together throughout training camp and now experience in games with a lot of these guys, starting to play faster and I’m starting to trust them and those are things that are getting better and I think it’ll keep trending in that way.”

Wentz, of course, was referring to all his young receivers on the roster like rookie John Hightower and practice-squad phenom Travis Fulgham. Meanwhile, second-year receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and sixth-round pick Quez Watkins were both healthy scratches last week versus New York. Pederson provided a more specific update on Reagor’s development.

“Well, listen, he’s missed a lot of football, so there hasn’t been a lot of production,” Pederson said. “Now, would I like to get him the ball more? Yeah, I would. We’d like to get him more touches if we can. Our tempo offense is not about scheming one guy. It’s about playing fast and executing our stuff. But moving forward yeah, I would like to get him some more touches if I can.”

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