Ertz, McKelvin Miss Practice
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - There was no change in the status of tight end Zach Ertz or cornerback Leodis McKelvin as the Eagles returned to practice Thursday with both starters continuing to be listed as “week-to-week'' by coach Doug Pederson.
In the case of Ertz, who has a displaced rib near his left shoulder, it’s extremely unlikely he will be able to play Monday night when the Eagles visit the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
“You know, I don't profess to be a doctor in this field, but I do know with this rib, it's just displaced about seven millimeters,” Pederson said of Ertz. “It just has to work itself back together and tighten whatever is up in there. That's the word I got on it. Again, it's a day-to-day, week-to-week injury.”
As for McKelvin, the veteran corner is dealing with a hamstring, which can be very tricky for thoroughbreds who have to run at full speed so often.
“Still hoping, obviously, for the best with both of them,” Pederson said. “We haven't ruled on any of them yet, so we'll see when we get to Monday.”
Trey Burton, who missed the opener with a calf injury but returned to practice today, is expected to take Ertz's place in the lineup and team with veteran Brent Celek in the Eagles' 12 personnel package.
“I’m excited, No. 1, to get him back out onto the practice field and get him into this game – work him back into this game,” Pederson said of Buron. “Obviously, we had a plan for him last week and that didn't come to fruition. But again, to get a guy like Trey and his athletic ability and his ability to run and catch the ball and move him around a little bit, I'm excited. I'm excited to see what he can do.”
As for McKelvin, slot corner Ron Brooks and rookie seventh-round pick Jalen Mills will pick up the slack if he's unable to play.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz could start Mills on the outside and leave Brooks in his typical role or have Brooks take on the added workload and then slip inside in the nickel while Mills enters on the outside, something that would lessen the workload for the rookie.
“(We’re) very comfortable if Jalen were to start out there,” Pederson claimed. “Obviously if Ron were to start out there, (we) could move Jalen inside and vice versa.
“So there are some combinations that we can play with throughout the week to see which one is the best fit. But we’re very comfortable if Jalen has to go out there and play corner.”
If McKelvin doesn’t go, it also leaves the Eagles very thin at the position with only Brooks, Mills and veteran Nolan Carroll available. Rookie C.J. Smith could be promoted from the practice squad or safety Malcolm Jenkins could mix it a bit at cornerback.
“You’ve got Malcolm who is very versatile there,” Pederson said. “...So we’ve got some pieces that have played in those positions in the past. Again, we'll monitor that and keep an eye on it this week.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen