Zach Ertz won't practice on Thursday, but Eagles head coach Doug Pederson isn't ruling the three-time Pro Bowl tight end out for the team's crucial game against the Giants Sunday.
"He is progressing, getting better," Pederson said. "We'll keep monitoring him each day."
Ertz suffered a broken rib during the Eagles' win over the Cowboys on Sunday, and the Eagles signed veteran tight end Richard Rodgers on Tuesday in case Ertz is unable to play. Josh Perkins, a hybrid tight end/wide receiver, is also on the roster.
What needs to happen for Ertz to get onto the field on Sunday?
"Obviously, he has to feel good, feel right," Pederson said Thursday morning. "You'd probably try to anticipate maybe banging him around a little bit and seeing the discomfort there if there's any and at the same time just trying to make sure that if things go according to what we hope is our plan than he would possibly ready."
The Eagles are scheduled to practice on Friday and have a walkthrough on Saturday before busing up to North Jersey.
Ertz has 88 catches for 916 yards this year and is 13th in NFL history among tight ends with 525 career receptions. He's missed only five of a possible 117 games in his seven NFL seasons. He's played 39 in a row since a concussion sidelined him for the Rams game in L.A. late in 2017.
The Eagles do have another top-10 tight end in Dallas Goedert, who ranks 9th in the NFL with 54 catches. Goedert had a career-high 9-for-91 in the win over the Cowboys.
The Eagles are the 7th team in NFL history to have two tight ends with 50 catches.
"Obviously, you never want to see someone go down," Goedert said,. "He's getting himself right, and he'll be ready whenever he's ready, but I have the same mindset whether he's playing or not. I just have to go in there and put wins on tape and do everything I can to help the team win."
Pederson was vague about what has to happen for Ertz to be officially cleared to play against the Giants Sunday.
A win sends the Eagles to the playoffs. A loss — combined with a Cowboys win over the Redskins — ends the Eagles' season.
"I had one of these one time and it's not fun," Pederson said. "We're going to make sure he's ready before we put him back out there."