Howard Works With Starters
Sanders Out Vs. Lions; Harris Doubtful
Practice-squad running back Jordan Howard has worked with the starters at practice this week, according to Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, as the Eagles have prepared for Sunday’s road game against the Lions without top running back Miles Sanders.
Sanders, seen in a walking boat earlier this week, will be out for the game, Sirianni said, and likely longer. The team is expected to place the third-year running back on Injured Reserve, although Sirianni didn’t confirm it.
The Eagles are still likely to feature a committee of running backs that includes rookie Kenneth Gainwell and change-up back Boston Scott, with Howard joining as the third. Gainwell has 126 yards on 20 carries along with 164 receiving yards on 19 receptions and three overall touchdowns.
“We still have some decisions to make right there, but with [Sanders] being out it just means the other guys we have coming up and stepping up and making plays, with Kenny and with Boston and with Jordan.”
Aside from Sanders, the only player whose status is uncertain for Sunday’s game is safety Anthony Harris, who’s nursing injured thumbs and a groin injury. Sirianni said the veteran safety is doubtful to play.
Howard, a former Pro Bowler who’s in his third stint with the Eagles, hasn’t yet played this season and hasn’t even appeared on the 53-man roster. The Eagles can elevate him from the practice squad for this game and for another before having to make a decision on his future.
“We’re still talking through some things,” Sirianni said when asked if Howard would be active, “but naturally he has practiced with the starters this week, and we have a lot confidence with him.”
Howard re-signed with the Eagles for the third time this offseason deep into free agency. Last year, he spent time on the Eagles’ practice squad after being cut by the Dolphins. Afer signing with the Eagles again, Howard told reporters he wasn’t sure he’d get any more NFL opportunities.
Sporting a thinner physique this summer, Howard stood out during training camp with dynamic running, especially between the tackles, where he has excelled during his career.
Right guard Jack Driscoll praised Howard’s professionalism while on the practice squad this season and said Howard still has gas left in the tank.
“One of the things that just stands out to me about Jordan is his work ethic,” Driscoll said. “Whether he was on the scout team and not active, he worked just a hard as he is now. You look back on some of the tape from 2018, 2019 …he runs hard. We’re excited to have him back there. He’s capable of making plays.”
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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