Jordan Howard is a quiet guy. Like, a really quiet guy.
Since he got traded to the Eagles this past offseason, his new teammates have learned that about him. He’s a man of few words.
“Jordan’s so … you can’t really read Jordan,” fellow running back Miles Sanders said.
Because of that, it might have been a little tough for his teammates to recognize just how important this matchup against his former team was for him. The Bears drafted Howard in 2016, he became a Pro Bowler there and then they traded him away for a late-round pick.
On Friday, Howard said the right things and he said them briefly. He downplayed the importance of the game.
And even after the 22-14 win, it wasn’t like the newly-turned 25-year-old was doing cartwheels. That’s just not him.
But he finally admitted it.
“I definitely was amped up for it a little bit more,” Howard said.
There was no fooling some of his teammates who had been in a similar situation before.
“Let me say this: whenever you play a former team, man, there’s always extra juice,” Brandon Brooks said. “I cannot be any clearer than that. I felt the same way when I played Houston last year. You don’t have to get up for that game. I mean, you’re going to wake up ready for that.”
On Sunday afternoon at the Linc, Howard carried the ball 19 times for 82 yards, including his 13-yard touchdown in the third quarter. He was so amped up for this game that he nearly made a huge blunder.
Just watch how close Howard was to dropping the ball before he crossed the goal line in the third quarter, à la DeSean Jackson.
“I almost pulled a D-Jack,” Howard said. “I almost tossed the ball too early. I was glad I crossed the line before I threw it back. It was just great.”
While Howard admitted he was a little more amped up for this game, he wasn’t trying to prove anything to the Bears. He really has moved on. In fact, in a contract year, he’d like to make his situation in Philly more permanent.
Howard didn’t see Sunday as a revenge game.
“I don’t need any validation from anybody,” he said. “Whatever they do, I don’t worry about that because I’m here now. It’s not for me to worry about.”
Late in the game, Howard did get banged up, but standing at his locker after the game, claimed he was fine. He declined to say where he was injured and with the bye week coming, he’ll have some extra days to heal.
He’ll also have a few extra days to enjoy the win over his former team in a game he really tried to say didn’t mean more to him. It, of course, did.
“He don’t really say a whole lot ever,” said the ever-loquacious Lane Johnson. “I know it meant a lot to him and you can just tell by how he runs. He speaks a lot with his actions. I know this was a big one for him.”
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