Zach Ertz’s status in doubt as Eagles vie for NFC East
The status of Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz for their key season-finale remained in doubt Wednesday as he continues to be evaluated for a fractured rib.
The team listed Ertz as DNP on its Wednesday practice report, although that was an estimate because the team did not practice on Christmas. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweeted Wednesday that Carson Wentz’s favorite target was “pushing hard to play but we’ll see if he gets the green light from docs and athletic trainers.”
The Eagles (8-7) would win the NFC East and host a wild-card game as the No. 4 seed in the conference if they beat or tie the New York Giants (4-11) on Sunday.
“You know what he’s going to do,” Garafolo said of Ertz on NFL Network on Tuesday. “He’s going to tell the team, ‘Yes, I’m good. I can play. I can play through any pain that I have.’ My understanding is that he is already trying to do that. …
“The Eagles are really going to take a hard look at this and say, based on all of the tests, all of the imaging that we have taken, is he going to put himself at further risk for more than just the bone there, the vital organs there.
“I don’t have anybody ruling him out or in just yet based on the sources I have spoken to, but I have gotten more people saying, ‘Don’t bank on him being out there on Sunday against the Giants.'”
On Sunday, Ertz took a blow to the ribs from Dallas safety Xavier Woods in the first quarter and departed the game. He later returned and appeared to be laboring while finishing with four catches for 28 yards.
Ertz, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, has 88 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns. He has caught at least 74 passes in five straight seasons and has missed five games total across seven NFL seasons.
Tight end Dallas Goedert received more opportunities with Ertz ailing and had nine receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown against Dallas.
Wide receiver Nelson Agholor (knee) and offensive tackle Lane Johnson (ankle) were also listed as DNP on Wednesday’s practice estimate. Agholor has missed the past three games. Johnson has missed two games, and the team is hoping he can be back for the playoffs, according to Garafolo.