Encouraging news Wednesday from Doug Pederson on both Zach Ertz and Jason Kelce.
Pederson said he expects Ertz to return to action Monday night for the Seahawks after missing four games with an ankle injury, and he expects Kelce to make his 100th consecutive start after injuring his elbow Sunday in Cleveland.
Ertz got hurt in the Ravens game on Oct. 18 and was placed on Injured Reserve four days later. The Eagles opened his practice window last Monday and he practiced all week but remained on IR for the Browns game.
“Zach is trending in the right direction,” Pederson said. “He’ll be out there today in our walkthrough and practice this afternoon. I’m optimistic and hopefully he feels good after today’s practice.”
At the point he got hurt, Ertz was going through a miserable stretch that saw him catch just 9 passes for 48 yards in his last three games. After averaging 82 catches for 879 yards and 5 TDs the last six years, he’s got just 24 catches for 178 yards and one TD in six games this year.
During his layoff, Ertz has fallen from 10th to 12th in NFL history among tight ends with 549 receptions.
As for Kelce, he missed four snaps just before halftime after hurting his elbow late in the second quarter in his hometown of Cleveland. He was briefly replaced by undrafted rookie Luke Juriga. Kelce returned for the second half with his elbow in a brace.
The four snaps were the first snaps he’s missed since he missed one in Atlanta in Week 2 last year and the most snaps he’s missed in a game since another elbow injury in New Orleans in Week 10 of 2018.
“He’s good,” Pederson said. “He’s sore, but he’ll be fine and I would expect him to play Sunday.”
Kelce has started 99 consecutive regular-season games since missing four games early in the 2014 season with a sports hernia.
His streak is the longest current streak of starts by an interior lineman. Only left tackle Jake Matthews of the Falcons, with 104 starts, has a longest current streak going.
Barring a setback, Kelce on Monday night will become the second Eagles center to start 100 consecutive regular-season games.
Dave Alexander started the last 12 games of 1988 and then every game from 1989 through 1994 for a 108-game streak at center. Guy Morriss started 95 straight games at center from the middle of 1977 through the end of 1983.
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