Ertz Ready to Go vs. Giants
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Star tight end Zach Ertz has been cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol and will practice on Wednesday.
That means the Eagles' leading receiver is on track to return against the 2-11 New York Giants on Sunday after missing the team's NFC East-clinching win in Los Angeles.
Ertz, who has 57 receptions for 663 yards and seven touchdowns, takes on a greater importance due to the absence of MVP candidate Carson Wentz, who is now done for the season after tearing his ACL against the Rams.
A rangy 6-foot-5 target with a huge catching radius Ertz figures to serve as a security blanket for backup turned starter Nick Foles.
Trey Burton was very effective in Ertz's absence against L.A., hauling in five of six targets for 71 yards and two scores but Ertz is one of the top pass-catching tight ends in football and his presence is important as Philadelphia tries to lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
They can do that on Sunday by beating the Giants coupled with a Minnesota loss to Cincinnati.
In other injury news, coach Doug Pederson said left guard Stefen Wisniewski, who left early against the Rams with an ankle injury, will be at practice.
"We will see what he can do," Pederson said.
Wiz was on the field for the first 34 offensive snaps against the Rams before tapping out. He was first replaced by Chance Warmack and then Isaac Seumalo as the Eagles desperately tried to slow down L.A. All-Pro Aaron Donald.
Rookie second-round pick Sidney Jones is also set to make his long-awaited practice debut on Wednesday after rehabbing the torn Achilles' he suffered at his pro day back in March.
Pederson explained Jones will be doing "service-team stuff" and some special teams work as the Eagles ease him back into football shape.
“I’ll see him more on special teams and service teams,” Pederson said. “And see where he’s at. We’ve watched him through his progression and training these last few weeks. And now we just want to see him in football conditions."
Also making a return is veteran special teams player Bryan Braman, who was signed Tuesday to fill Wentz's roster spot.
Pederson explained that Braman was brought in to fill some special teams snaps that had been taken up by starters like Nigel Bradham and Mychal Kendricks due to circumstance.
As of now, Philadelphia doesn't plan to add a third quarterback to the practice squad as support for Foles and Nate Sudfeld.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen