Zach Ertz turned around from his locker on Monday with a grin. How are you feeling, Zach?
“I feel great,” he said, and that was pretty clearly the case.
After missing the Eagles’ second and third games of the season, and then taking the past week off with the team’s bye week, Ertz had an MRI this morning for the displaced rib injury he suffered in Week 1.
According to Ertz, the team doctors saw what they needed to see. He practiced Monday morning, and he said he is “for sure playing” in the Eagles’ Week 5 matchup with the Lions on Sunday.
“Yeah, 100 percent,” Ertz said. “With the bye week being when it was, it was a big help for me in particular. A lot of the guys who were banged up love it. So, yeah, I’m ready for Sunday.”
The third-year tight end said he’s not sure if he would have been able to play this past Sunday if the Eagles’ bye week had been scheduled differently; he didn’t get an X-ray of his rib between Week 3 and this morning. He didn’t seem to care much about that hypothetical, though.
“The picture that came back today was great,” Ertz said.
Ertz said he spent his bye week at the Eagles’ facility, getting treatment and working out to stay in shape. He’s excited about getting back on the field with Brent Celek and Trey Burton, so the Eagles can finally unveil their true three-tight end package.
Burton missed the team’s first game of the season with an injury; Ertz missed the next two, with Matt Tobin subbing in as the third tight end in certain packages.
“We have three really talented tight ends in my opinion,” Ertz said. “Three of the best in the league. All offseason, there was a lot of work put into that package, and I think it’s going to grow this week because all three guys will be able to catch passes — no offense to (Tobin) — so we’re really excited about that package, and I think it’s going to open up everyone else in the run game and the pass game.”
Ertz said he loved watching the team run to a 3-0 record in his absence, but it was definitely frustrating watching instead of playing.
Plus, he joked, everyone knows the story of Wally Pipp, the former Yankees first basemen who lost his job to Lou Gehrig because of an injury and never reclaimed it.
“I don’t think that was going to happen,” Ertz said, chuckling, “but at the same time, everyone understands the possibility in this league. And it’s tough not being out there with your guys, your brothers.”
Mathews expects to play
I missed this part of the locker room, but CSN Philly’s Dave Zangaro said the ever-elusive Ryan Mathews told him he expects to be ready for Sunday.
Ryan Mathews (ankle) practiced today and said he expects to be good to play Sunday. #Eagles— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroCSN) October 3, 2016
Mathews took just two snaps in the Eagles’ 34-3 win over the Steelers, leaving the game early in the first quarter because of stiffness in his ankle. His ankle has been bothering him, on and off, since the preseason.
McKelvin looking good for Sunday
Leodis McKelvin said he was a full participant in the team’s light practice on Monday, and he expects to be ready for Sunday’s game.
“Looks like it,” he said when asked if he would play against the Lions.
McKelvin has been dealing with the hamstring injury he suffered in the Eagles’ Week 1 win over the Browns.
“It’s getting better, getting better,” McKelvin said of the hamstring. “Feels a whole lot better than last week. I was out there in practice today. It felt pretty good to me, so that’s a good sign coming in for Sunday.”
He’s been medically cleared for full participation in practice, and he expects to be a full participant on Wednesday as well.