By Jack Ryan
If you’re hoping against hope that Eagles Zach Ertz (above) and Leodis McKelvin will magically heal and play Monday night against the Bears:
Take a chill pill!
Tight end Ertz and cornerback McKelvin remain “week to week”, which means neither will likely play Monday night when the Eagles take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
Ertz has dislocated rib up near his left shoulder and could miss a few weeks of action. McKelvin is nursing a nagging hamstring injury, and his status for Monday is better than Ertz’s but still not good.
“We’re still hoping,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said before the team returned to practice today.
Third-year man Trey Burton will take Ertz’s place, along with veteran Brent Celek in the Eagles’ two tight-end sets.
Burton, one of the team’s top special teams players, missed last Sunday’s game against the Browns with a calf injury, but returned to practice today. In his career he has taken just 69 snaps on offense in 31 games.
“We’re looking forward to seeing Trey and his athleticism out there,” Pederson said of Burton.
The Eagles have just four cornerbacks on their current roster, so if McKelvin can’t go they would be very thin at the position.
“We’re still looking at that,” Pederson said. “Right now, we’re going to go with three.”
Those three are Nolan Carroll, rookie Jalen Mills and Ron Brooks. One option Pederson has is to promote rookie C.J. Smith from the practice squad, but that would also require releasing a player currently on the 53-man roster. If that turns out to be the case don’t expect it to happen until Saturday or Sunday.
Another option the team has is to use safety Malcolm Jenkins as a slot cornerback. Jenkins came into the league as a corner, and played in the slot in both 2014 and 2015 at times with the Eagles.
“Malcolm can do that,” Pederson said. “And Rodney (McLeod, the Eagles’ other safety) can as well.”