Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni confidently proclaimed Miles Sanders good to go for Sunday’s wild-card playoff game. The explosive running back has no limitations as he takes back the starting job. Both Jordan Howard and Boston Scott were also missing from the final injury report.
That means the team should have its full stable of running backs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It remains to be seen whether Kenny Gainwell and Jason Huntley will be active. Neither one has an injury designation, but the Eagles aren’t likely to carry more than four rushers. Philadelphia brings the NFL’s top-ranked rushing attack — 2,715 yards, or 200.2 yards per game — into the postseason.
“Really excited to be able to have all hands on deck,” Sirianni said of his running backs. “I was just saying to the team after practice, what great contribution we’ve gotten from so many different people this year and I really talked about the running back group. What other team can say they got contributions from four different running backs, and really Jason Huntley played a good game the other day, so five different running backs, right?”
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Nate Herbig, Josh Sweat Listed Questionable
It wasn’t all positive vibes in South Philly following Friday’s practice. Defensive end Josh Sweat missed his third straight day with an undisclosed non-COVID illness. The fourth-year edge rusher is officially listed as questionable versus Tampa Bay. Sweat has filled the pass-rushing void left by Brandon Graham and his 7.5 sacks are tied for the team lead with Javon Hargrave.
Meanwhile, starting right guard Nate Herbig was also listed as questionable on the final injury report after missing Friday’s practice with an ankle injury. Herbig must have suffered a setback because he was a limited participant on Wednesday and Thursday. If he can’t go, look for Sua Opeta to take his spot next to Lane Johnson on the right side of the offensive line.
Johnson (rest/knee) was a limited participant on Friday. Ditto for rookie linebacker Patrick Johnson (back). Those two guys are expected to play against Tampa Bay. Everyone else has a clean bill of health going into the postseason.
Sanders Underwent Hand Surgery, Ready to Go
Sanders fractured his right hand on December 26 against the New York Giants. He could have gone on season-ending IR and started rehabbing for next season, but that wasn’t his mindset. Instead, the talented running back underwent a minor surgical procedure on December 27 in the hope he could return for the playoffs. It was part of a promise he made to Sirianni.
“I said, ‘promise me playoffs and I’ll get this surgery tomorrow’ and he [Sirianni] said, ‘I got you,’ and I think the week came and we got the dub in Washington,” Sanders told reporters. “And he said, ‘I hope you got the surgery,’ and I said, ‘I already got it.’ With the win or not, just to give me a chance [to play].”
Sanders declared himself “ready to go” on Friday while explaining the battery of tests he endured. Coaches were punching at the football as he ran and made him catch passes out of the backfield. His surgically-repaired hand held up during all the ball-security drills, too, as he took hand-offs from Jalen Hurts and squeezed the football with no problem.
“They were kind of asking me what I wanted to do this week and I told them I wanted to do everything,” Sanders said. “I feel ready to go.”