Eagles

Jordan Howard is finally cleared for contact

Jordan Howard is finally cleared for contact

After missing the last six games, Eagles running back Jordan Howard was cleared for contact after practice on Thursday and will make his return this weekend against the Giants.

“He’s good to go,” Doug Pederson said. 

Before suffering the stinger late in the Bears game on Nov. 3, Howard was the Eagles’ workhorse back. That won’t be the case on Sunday. 

Even if Howard was in true game shape, Miles Sanders and Boston Scott have been playing very well in his absence. They’re certainly not going to take away Sanders’ touches. 

“The challenge is we’ve been planning with Miles and Boston,” Pederson said. “Jordan gives us obviously a third back, situational guy. We understand who he is. But again, we mentioned yesterday, as far as the conditioning and the game shape and being ready and all that. 

“You just can’t give him a full complement of plays. We don’t want to necessarily disrupt what we have going. But he is a big piece, obviously, to our offense.” 

Howard’s stinger sapped the strength in his shoulder. While some of that strength has returned, it’s still something to watch on Sunday. 

“It’s good. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily where he wants it to be,” Pederson said. “But it’s good for playing. Again, we’re going to be smart about it. Full steam ahead with Miles and Boston.” 

The Eagles will get Howard back for this game, but Zach Ertz’s status is very much in question as he deals with a rib and back injury. 

Pederson said Ertz will be at practice at Lincoln Financial Field on Friday, but won’t participate in the entire session. There will be times when Ertz goes inside to get treatment. 

Ertz wants to play on Sunday but he will need to be cleared and then the Eagles will have to make sure there’s not a risk of further and serious injury. 

“Medically, want to make sure that he’s 100 percent,” Pederson said. “Zach’s a tough guy. I know he wants to be out there. But at the same time, I’m not going to risk anything further with him personally.” 

Lane Johnson is still getting over a high ankle sprain and seems like a long-shot to play this weekend. Pederson said there is “progress” but Johnson will miss another practice on Friday. He’s expected to run on land (not in the pool) on Friday and Pederson said a determination about his game status has not yet been made. 

If Johnson doesn’t play, Halapoulivaati Vaitai will make his third consecutive start.

More on the Eagles

Terrell Owens launches 'COVID-19 Driveway Challenge' complete with situp video

Terrell Owens launches 'COVID-19 Driveway Challenge' complete with situp video

Never one to be left out, Terrell Owens has chimed in with his own social distancing home workout challenge, and it will take Eagles fans back.

Owens, aiming for people spending extra time at home during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, launched the "COVID-19 Driveway Challenge" on Monday evening, piggybacking off recent home exercise social media trends like the "See 10, Do 10" pushup videos.

Owens attempted to start his own movement with a video, filmed in a driveway, eerily similar to the classic 2005 situps he did while holding out as a member of the Eagles:

"All y'all stayin' at home, stayin' safe, let's get this workout in," Owens says in the video. "I need 19 situps, just like I did back in '04, '05, when I did my situps in the driveway." 

Say what you will about Owens: he's nothing if not on brand, even during a global health crisis.

Owens didn't detail whether he's looking to raise money for COVID-19 research, or simply awareness about responsible social distancing.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Why ESPN picking Carson Wentz over Aaron Rodgers isn't an insane take

Why ESPN picking Carson Wentz over Aaron Rodgers isn't an insane take

ESPN's First Take is a build-your-own hot take generator, but former NFL quarterback and current ESPN personality Dan Orlovsky usually tries to stay away from saying stuff just for reaction.

Which is why Orlovsky's assessment Monday of the five best quarterbacks in the NFC generated so much... discussion? Fury? It was kind of both.

Orlovsky said, in no uncertain terms, that he ranks Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz as the fourth-best QB in the NFC, behind Russell Wilson (yep), Tom Brady (likely), and Drew Brees (yep). 

This, of course, puts Wentz ahead of Aaron Rodgers:

Unsurprisingly, Orlovsky had to deal with angry football fans all day, sifting through tons of tweets calling him out of whack and (kind of hilariously) demanding he be drug tested. You can go look at his timeline for the horror show.

I'm here to defend Orlovsky. Yes, Rodgers is one of the greats. And yes, in a vacuum there is zero comparison between the Packers legend and Wentz.

But heading into the 2020 season, knowing what we know about each QB, I'm also taking Wentz.

Rodgers has seen his completion percentage fall in each of the last four seasons, he posted the second-lowest yards-per-attempt mark of his career in 2019, and he turns 37 in December. Last year, he tossed too many errant passes on would-be easy completions. It felt like he'd turned the corner, and his prime was over.

Wentz, on the other hand, made do with embarassingly bad skill position players and led the Eagles to the playoffs with numerous clutch throws in December.

One of Rodgers' greatest remaining skills is his ability to avoid interceptions, throwing just six over his last 32 regular season games. You know who else has low INT numbers? Wentz, who posted a higher completion percentage than Rodgers in 2019 while working with you and me at wide receiver.

And Wentz, a decade younger than Rodgers and still growing as a passer, also has the added benefit of being an athletic, mobile quarterback.

The greats age, and eventually are no longer great. It happens, and it's happening here.

It took guts for Orlovsky to put Wentz ahead of Rodgers in 2020, but I'm glad he did - because now everyone else can do the same.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles