By Peter Brennan
The sound you heard late yesterday afternoon was a collective breath from Eagles Nation which had been holding it hoping that Zach Ertz will play today against the Seahawks at the Linc.
Ertz is reportedly expected to play despite rib and kidney injuries, according to Derrick Gunn of NBCS Philly.
Right tackle Lane Johnson was ruled out with an ankle.
Ertz was injured during the Eagles’ Week 16 win over the Dallas Cowboys and he was too hurt to go in Week 17.
The Eagles have been plagued by receiver injuries all season. Both Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson will not play against the Seahawks. The team’s third option — Nelson Agholor — has also been ruled out of Sunday’s game.
That leaves the Eagles with Ertz and Dallas Goedert at tight end, and some combination of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Robert Davis and Greg Ward at receiver.
While Ertz is expected to go, it’s unclear how much he’ll be able to contribute. Ertz was able to gut through Week 16’s game against Dallas, but was clearly limited. He caught 4 passes for 28 yards in the contest.
If Ertz is healthy, he would provide a significant boon to the Eagles’ offense. Over his career, Ertz has established himself as the top security blanket for Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.
In a season filled with so much turnover at the receiver position, at least Wentz will have one familiar face out there as the Eagles fight to stay in the playoffs.