The Philadelphia Eagles placed Zach Ertz on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The three-time Pro Bowler is vaccinated, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, and could still be cleared in time for Week 3.
Vaccinated players need to produce two negative tests that are at least 24 hours apart, plus show no physical symptoms of the disease in order to return. The Eagles catch a slight break since they play the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football this week. That gives Ertz an extra day to get cleared. If he couldn’t go, look for Dallas Goedert to start at tight end with additional snaps for rookie Jack Stoll in 12 personnel.
Ertz saw 37 offensive snaps in Week 2 and registered one catch for six yards. He has 78 snaps in two games, including three receptions for 40 yards (four total targets). The 30-year-old was the subject of trade rumors in the offseason but returned for his ninth NFL season with the franchise that drafted him in the second round. He is an unrestricted free agent in 2022.
Ertz talked about what went into the decision to not hold out or demand a trade at the end of training camp. He has too much respect for the Eagles’ organization and the City of Brotherly Love to become a distraction.
“They were standing firm with what they believed was fair, and ultimately I can’t fault them for that,” Ertz told reporters on Sept. 1. “They know how I feel about this city. I truly love being here. What’s happened in the past is in the past. I’m not thinking about it.”
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‘Tremendous Loss’ on Offensive Line
Brandon Brooks will miss at least three weeks after he suffered a pectoral strain in Week 2. The Eagles revealed there was no tear in his chest muscle, but the starting right guard will hit injured reserve in the coming days. Lane Johnson – his good friend and colleague on the right side of the offensive line – discussed Brooks’ unfortunate absence.
“You can’t replace those type of players,” Johnson said. “Younger guys have to step up, and we have to press on. It’s terrible because Brooks is one of my best friends, he’s been the best guard in the league for a long time, and he was doing well so far this season. Not having him out there is a tremendous loss for us. Having him out there might have been the difference between us winning and losing.”
Rookie Landon Dickerson took over for Brooks on Sunday (and struggled on 33 snaps), but there’s a chance Nate Herbig gets the start against Dallas on Monday night. The third-year swing guard has 19 career starts to his name, with 12 of them coming last season. Herbig and Dickerson will battle it out at practice this week in South Philly.
Cowboys Week, Extending 24-Hour Rule
Head coach Nick Sirianni has a 24-hour rule after tough losses, then it’s on to the next opponent. In this case, that means a divisional showdown against the hated Dallas Cowboys. Sirianni gave the players a day off on Monday (Sept. 20) but had the coaching staff come in to review film and talk things over. The troops were due back at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday (Sept. 21) to do the same.
“The 24-hour rule will just be extended a little bit until we’re out of films today,” Sirianni told reporters on Sept. 20. “But we know that the whole thing about this is how do we get better from this tape and how do we move on, and how do we not make the same mistakes over again that we made in this last game.”