By Kevin McGuire
As the Philadelphia Eagles fly across the country to take on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon, the availability of the top two receivers on the team remains up in the air. Tight end Zach Ertz and wide receiver Jordan Matthews were each listed as questionable for Sunday afternoon’s game after getting banged up last week in a win against the Atlanta Falcons. Safety Terrence Brooks has been ruled out of action for Sunday.
Fans Hopeful Ertz Will Play
Ertz was able to participate in a Friday practice without limitations, which should be seen as encouraging news. He was limited in practice on Wednesday and did not practice on Thursday to recover from his hamstring injury. Ertz is the second-leading receiver on the team with 302 yards on 29 receptions this season. The emerging tight end had started to really get in a groove in recent weeks before being hampered by a hamstring injury. Ertz caught six passes for 55 yards last week against the Falcons, a week after hauling in eight passes for 97 yards against the New York Giants.
If Ertz is unable to play, expect veteran Brent Celek to be used as more of a primary tight end option. Trey Burton could also be given some opportunities to prove he is capable of stepping in. Burton has 13 catches in eight games this season, including one start. Celek has had a rough season, with just six catches for 88 yards so far.
Matthews Recovering from Controversial Hit
Matthews continues to be bothered by back spasms, which have been an issue all week. He was also on the receiving end of a brutal hit that the NFL office said after the fact should have been flagged against Atlanta. Matthews did not practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday before returning for a full practice session on Friday.
Matthews has been one of the only reliable receiver son the team this season, although he has had a few passes he would like to have back at times. He has 48 receptions for 580 yards this season with three touchdowns. If he is not available, his loss will be significant, because the Eagles have lacked any reason to be confident in young receivers like Nelson Agholor or Dorial Green-Beckham and their ability to come up with any big catches. If Matthews and Ertz are out, the Eagles offense will be in some big trouble against the Seahawks.
Brooks out with Hamstring Injury
The loss of Terrence Brooks due to a hamstring this week is a minor hit to the depth, but the Eagles secondary should otherwise be in decent shape with starters expected to be available without any issue.
The Seattle Seahawks are not without their injury concerns this weekend, although they do look forward to running back Thomas Rawls being available. Tight end Luke Wilson is also expected to return to the lineup after missing four games with a knee injury.
The defense will be without defensive end Michael Bennett due to a knee injury and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis due to a hamstring. Quarterback Russell Wilson will still be a mobile threat as he usually is, although he will be playing through a minor knee injury, which is not expected to prevent him from playing at all.
- S Terrence Brooks (hamstring)
- TE Zach Ertz (hamstring)
- WR Jordan Matthews (back)