After months of waiting, Richard Rodgers got a call from the Eagles on Monday, the day after Zach Ertz fractured a rib against the Cowboys.
Christmas would need to wait.
“It’s not bad,” Rodgers said earlier this week. “We make a lot of money here. I think I can afford to buy a little more gifts.”
With five credited seasons under his belt, the NFL minimum for Rodgers is a salary of $805,000, which means that for this week, he’ll earn at least $50,312. Not bad for a week of work.
Rodgers, 27, arrived to Philadelphia on Tuesday and will likely need to suit up on Sunday in a game that could decide the NFC East title. If Rodgers plays on Sunday, it’ll be his first NFL game in nearly a year.
But with Ertz ailing, the Eagles might need him. So they have to get him up to speed quickly.
“I think the advantage is the fact that there is familiarity there,” offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. “He knows our system, terminology. It's just kind of getting re-acclimated. Obviously putting on pads and playing football is a lot different than what he's been doing.
“Regardless of how much he's been thinking about playing, still have to get out there. Rich is very dependable, he's conscientious, and we know he’ll do a good job.”
Rodgers spent the 2018 season with the Eagles and likely would have made the 53-man roster out of training camp this year, but the suffered a tear in his plantar fascia. The Eagles reached an injury settlement with him on Sept. 11 and Rodgers has been a free agent since.
The injury took about two months to heal and since then Rodgers has just been waiting for a call.
This was the first time since his career began in 2014 that Rodgers wasn’t with a team during the season. And since the season was nearly over, he was beginning to think he’d have to wait until next year.
“That definitely went through my head,” he said. “If you miss that many games, you’re like, ‘alright, next year is the year I come back to a team.’ But like I said, I’m just grateful they gave me the opportunity and I’m going to help out any way I can.”
When he spoke earlier this week, Rodgers wasn’t yet sure of his role. A lot will depend on the health of Ertz and whether or not Ertz plays on Sunday. The Eagles also have Dallas Goedert and Josh Perkins on the roster.
Rodgers also got hurt during training camp last year. The Eagles put him on IR and designated him to return later in the year. They opted to handle him differently this time, reaching an injury settlement, but the result is the same. Rodgers is going to play for them late in the season.
In the four years to start his career with the Packers, Rodgers had 120 catches for 1,166 yards and 13 touchdowns. Maybe he’ll never be that guy again, but at least he is an experienced option who knows the offense here in Philly.
If the Eagles take down the Giants on Sunday, they’ll extend their season and would host a wild card game the following week.
Hope Rodgers didn’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve.
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