Updated: 10:34 p.m.
COSTA MESA, Calif. — As the Eagles begin their practice week at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, they'll be without one of their top playmakers.
Zach Ertz is still going through the NFL's concussion protocol.
According to head coach Doug Pederson, Ertz has been in meetings, which means he's at least reached the second phase of the NFL's five-phase protocol.
"The sense is that he's doing well," Pederson said. "But again, I don't want to get into too many details about it, but he's still in the protocol and we just have to monitor him day by day."
It's possible Ertz could be cleared later in the week, after the Eagles have gone through most, if not all, of their practices. But Pederson thinks Ertz would still be able to play in that scenario.
"In his case, he's had a lot of reps with Carson (Wentz), he's had a lot of reps with the plays that we have in the game plan," Pederson said. "I'm not as concerned with something like that. Maybe if it's an offensive or defensive lineman, linebacker, who's got to see and recognize a lot of things. We do play with a lot of multiple tight end sets. (Tight ends coach) Justin Peele does a great job preparing those guys during the week. Probably not as concerned."
Linebacker Joe Walker (neck) was a full participant in Wednesday's practice. Walker suffered a stinger in the first half against the Bears and missed the Seahawks game. Najee Goode played most of the snaps in his place.
Destiny Vaeao (shoulder) missed practice. He and Ertz were the only two players to not practice.
On this edition of Eagle Eye, Derrick Gunn and Dave Zangaro preview Eagles vs Saints. Good news; the Eagles appear to be getting healthier. Bad news; it's a daunting task they're facing.
What do they need to do to pull off an unlikely win? Is there a lack of leadership on this team? Gunner and Dave debate that.
Also, where will the guys visit while they work in New Orleans.
2:00 — Eagles are getting healthier.
6:30 — Taking a look at the secondary.
12:00 — That secondary has to go up against an incredible Saints offense.
16:00 — Eagles have to play a perfect game to win.
20:00 — Is there a lack of leadership with this team?
25:00 — Previewing the other NFC East games.
28:30 — Where will the guys hang out in New Orleans?
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Richard Rodgers is going to make his Eagles debut on Sunday in New Orleans.
The Eagles on Friday afternoon activated Rodgers from Injured Reserve. Earlier in the week, they designated him to return as he began practicing after rehabbing from a knee injury he suffered in the preseason.
To make room for Rodgers on the 53-man roster, the Eagles sent fellow tight end Josh Perkins (knee) to IR.
The Eagles used one of their two designations to return from IR on Rodgers, which means they have just one left for either Mack Hollins or Mike Wallace later this season. They made the move to bring back Rodgers because Perkins, their third tight end, suffered what Doug Pederson called a “significant” knee injury.
Rodgers, 26, signed with the Eagles as a free agent this offseason after spending the first four seasons with the Green Bay Packers. During those four seasons, Rodgers caught 120 passes for 1,166 yards and 13 touchdowns.
It’s unclear what kind of role Rodgers will have with the Eagles down the stretch, but we know he won’t be taking any time from Zach Ertz, who has been the best tight end in the NFL this season. He also shouldn’t take time from rookie second-round pick Dallas Goedert.
Still no word about Tim Jernigan, who remains on the Non-football Injury list. Like Rodgers, he was not on the injury report because he wasn’t on the roster during the week of practice. The Eagles have until 4 p.m. on Saturday to add Jernigan to the active roster if he’s going to play this weekend.
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