Eagles Injury News is Good, Bad and Potentially Ugly
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The injury news surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles was a bit of a mixed bag on Friday for the last full practice session before Sunday's Wild Card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks.
As expected Miles Sanders was back after sitting out a walkthrough session on Wednesday and practice on Thursday. The dynamic rookie running back is expected to play on Sunday despite the ankle sprain that knocked him out of the regular-season finale against the New York Giants.
The news was not as positive regarding star right tackle Lane Johnson, who was absent for the limited portion of practice open to the media, a day after practicing in a limited fashion.
Johnson continues to deal with a high-ankle sprain that cost him the final three games of the regular season and the injury itself is in a "bad spot" -- believed to be on the inside of the ankle -- as the described to 973espn.com by a source close to the situation.
If Johnson is unable to go Halapoulivaati Vaitai would again start at RT with Matt Pryor taking over for the injured Brandon Brooks (season-ending shoulder surgery) at right guard. If Johnson can play, Vaitai would slip inside to RG.
Zach Ertz remains the murkiest of the injuries. The Pro Bowl tight end is dealing with a broken rib and "lacerated kidney," suffered in Week 16 against Dallas. The former is not an issue but the latter is and to date, Ertz is not cleared for contact but continues to practice in a limited fashion.
Ertz will meet with the medical staff on Saturday and the Eagles are optimistic he could be cleared. The issue seems to be the semantics of the original NFL Media report and whether Ertz's kidney is lacerated or just bruised. The latter would allow the star TE to play against the Seahawks.
For the second consecutive week, the Eagles took practice across Broad Street from the NovaCare Complex to Lincoln Financial Field.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen