Eagles

Zach Ertz ruled out vs. Giants; Lane Johnson and Jalen Mills questionable

Zach Ertz ruled out vs. Giants; Lane Johnson and Jalen Mills questionable

After missing practice all week, Eagles tight end Zach Ertz has officially been ruled out for Sunday’s game. 

Ertz fractured a rib and hurt his back last week against the Cowboys on a hit from Cowboys safety Xavier Woods. Ertz returned to the game but was in serious pain after the 17-9 win. 

“The biggest thing is just making sure he feels good,” Doug Pederson said. “I think, having gone through this myself personally with this type of injury, it's discomforting, but want to make sure he's 100 percent before we put him back out there again.”

This is obviously a huge game for the Eagles. If they win on Sunday afternoon against the Giants, they’ll clinch the NFC East and punch their ticket to the postseason to host either the 49ers or Seahawks the following week. The stakes are huge, but they couldn’t risk Ertz’s health to play him. 

Here’s the full list of Eagles’ game statuses from Friday afternoon: 

Out: Ertz (ribs, back), Nelson Agholor (knee) 

Questionable: Lane Johnson (ankle), Jalen Mills (ankle) 

Johnson missed practice all week and is still getting over a high ankle sprain. It seems unlikely Johnson will be able to go, but the Eagles are holding out hope. If Johnson can’t play, Halapoulivaati Vaitai would start his third straight game at right tackle. 

Mills hurt his ankle in last week’s game but was able to return. On Friday, as the rest of the team stretched, Mills worked on the side. With Ronald Darby out, the Eagles are already expected to start Rasul Douglas on Sunday. 

Every other player on the injury report was not given a game status and are all expected to play. That includes Jordan Howard, who was cleared for contact on Thursday after practice. He was a full participant in practice on Friday for the first time in a month and a half. 

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5-year-old Eagles impersonator gets Boston Scott's stamp of approval

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USA Today Sports Images/@SirRobin83/Twitter

5-year-old Eagles impersonator gets Boston Scott's stamp of approval

With professional sports on pause around the world, fans are looking for anything - video games, simulations, classic games - to satisfy that live sports itch.

We may have found the ultimate placeholder: a five-year-old imitating Boston Scott's infamous spin-o-rama.

On Saturday afternoon, Twitter user Robin Stanley tagged Scott in a quick video of his son, Beckett, pretending to be the Eagles running back:

I mean, c'mon: the likeness to Scott's spin move against the Giants is kind of uncanny.

In case you need to jog your memory, here is Scott's spin:

Scott, of course, made fun of himself for the move at the time, admitting that when he saw the clip after the game, it "looked pretty silly".

I'd say Beckett's spin had a little more swag.

Stanley's dad, a Philly native, told NBC Sports Philadelphia his son was expecting to play his first season of flag football this spring down in Nashville, but the league was postponed because of social distancing mandates, so he's making do.

On Saturday, Scott saw Stanley's video and gave the little man a nod of approval:

That's just good, clean fun. Thank you, Beckett, for the sports-related smile.

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Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Four years ago, when Rodney McLeod became a free agent for the first time in his NFL career, one of the reasons he wanted to join the Eagles was for the chance to play next to Malcolm Jenkins. 

And for the last four years, he did. The two formed a safety tandem that played 49 regular season games and four playoff games, including Super Bowl LII, together. 

But now Jenkins is back in New Orleans with the Saints and the Eagles are preparing to play without him for the first time since 2013. Meanwhile, McLeod signed a two-year deal to return to Philly. 

On a conference call with reporters on Thursday, McLeod said he learned a lot from Jenkins over the past four seasons. 

What were some of those lessons? 

Just as a competitor,” McLeod said. “And then the ability to get the most out of guys, whether it’s on the defensive side or from an entire team standpoint. I think as a leader, that’s your kind of job. How can you get guys to play at the highest level and get the most out of your players. I think he was one of the best at doing that and understanding everyone … I learned a lot from him. 

“Not just on the field but off the field, the way he handled himself and what he did in the community for the city. I’ll always admire him. It’s hard to match. But like I said, his legacy will live on. The Saints are getting a good guy. Now, us as Eagles, playing with a new group of guys and we’re ready to move forward.

There’s no question that the Eagles are going to miss Jenkins’ contributions on the field. They will use some combination of Jalen Mills and Will Parks to replace him at that position and that won’t be easy. 

But the Eagles will also miss the leadership Jenkins brought to the locker room. He wasn’t just the leader of the secondary or even just the defense; Jenkins was oftentimes the key leader for the entire team. That’s hard to replace too. 

It’s not that McLeod, 29, hasn’t been a leader during his first four years in Philly. But now that role might need to expand and will become more important with the absence of Jenkins. 

“I think it’s important for me to be myself and be who I’ve always been,” McLeod said. “And that’s a guy that leads by his actions and leads by example. I think if you ask a lot of guys on the team, that’s what they’ll tell you most. Actions sometimes speak louder than words. I think there will be times for me to speak up when needed. When my teammates need me most, I’ll be ready to do that.”

For the most part, McLeod has been the quieter of the two safeties and Jim Schwartz has previously called him the calming presence in the defensive backfield.

But McLeod can speak up too. 

It’s really just about finding a balance between his two sides and putting the lessons from Jenkins into practice in 2020. 

“Myself, being a leader on this team for some time, will of course be asked to step up as well as other guys from a defensive standpoint and on the team,” McLeod said. “I think we’re prepared for that. And guys will be willing to step up to the plate and accept the challenge. Myself first and foremost.”

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