The Philadelphia Eagles released their third and final official injury report on Friday in advance of their Week 9 game against the Denver Broncos.
Two players are ruled questionable to play: starting tight end Zach Ertz and starting cornerback Ronald Darby. No other Eagles players are listed on the injury report this week, which is a positive sign.
Doug Pederson indicated that Ertz WILL play on Sunday despite being added to the injury report with a hamstring issue on Thursday.
Q. What happened to TE Zach Ertz's hamstring?
DOUG PEDERSON: He just acquired a little tightness in the hamstring, so [we] just backed him down. Didn't want to push him any further than that.
Q. Will he play on Sunday?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yes.
Ertz leads the Eagles in all receiving categories. Denver has struggled to cover tight ends this season so he could be crucial to Philly’s success this weekend. It remains to be seen if Ertz’s effectiveness will be hampered.
As for Darby, he’s been limited in practice all week. It still seems like he won’t be ready to play until following the Eagles’ Week 10 bye. Here’s everything Pederson had to say about Darby.
Q. How about CB Ronald Darby? How is he coming along?
DOUG PEDERSON: Ronald is doing extremely well. He’s had probably his best week so far in preparation and, as we’ve mentioned, getting that game condition back. He's done a nice job this week.
Q. Is Darby going to go this week?
DOUG PEDERSON: He's questionable again. [We] just have to see. Again, barring anything crazy happening these next couple of days, we'll just see where he's at on game day. But right now [he is] listed as questionable and it’ll be probably a game-time decision with him.
Q. Does the bye week factor into that knowing you’d have an extra week?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, you got to take a look at that with all our players right now. Guys that are a little nicked up. With the bye sort of lurking, it gives everybody a chance to rest. So, we take a look at it. But listen, as long as we don't put a guy out there that we can jeopardize him further, they'll usually play in this game. It's a big game for us this Sunday.
Q. Darby hasn't been a full practice participant yet, right?
DOUG PEDERSON: No, because he's in a backup role right now in practice. He's not taking reps away from starters, but at the same time he's getting enough reps to kind of keep him mentally plugged in, and then also working his conditioning working with our strength and conditioning guys on the side to maintain that same conditioning level that he needs.
Q. Would he have to be, though, in a real practice setting to play?
DOUG PEDERSON: When he comes back, you'd like for him to be your number one guy taking all the reps. Right now it's a limited basis just to see where he's at mentally and physically.
Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson, and Rasul Douglas will continue to see the bulk of playing time at cornerback with Darby potentially out.
It hasn’t been confirmed that new Eagles running back Jay Ajayi will play this weekend. Here’s what Pederson had to say about him.
Q. Have you made a decision on Jay Ajayi? Is he going to play on Sunday?
DOUG PEDERSON: I haven't yet. I got to get through today. It’s a big day – red zone, obviously. There are a lot of things, moving parts down there, so I want to make sure we get through today first before I make that decision.
Q. In terms of Ajayi, are you giving him the full playbook right now? Or is it a limited menu, so to speak?
DOUG PEDERSON: No, it's very limited – 10 to 15 plays. I just want him to feel comfortable there. But it's a taste of a little bit of every aspect of the offense, you know what I'm saying? So first and second and third down; we'll find out a little bit more today in the red zone. Stuff like that. But it definitely won't be the full complement of the playbook.
Q. How has Ajayi done this week picking up what you have given him?
DOUG PEDERSON: He's done a nice job. He's a smart guy. He comes from an offense that uses very similar terminology, so he's familiar with that. He's picked it up. He's had some extra meetings with [Eagles RBs coach] Duce [Staley] this week. We're trying to get him up to speed as fast as he can and we can. He's done a nice job.
I would think the Eagles would like to get Ajayi, their shiny new toy, on the field this week. But we’ll see.
Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report (Friday)
TE Zach Ertz (hamstring)
CB Ronald Darby (ankle)
CB Sidney Jones
OT Jason Peters
LB Jordan Hicks
RB Darren Sproles
S Chris Maragos
K Caleb Sturgis
CB Randall Goforth
DT Aziz Shittu
WR Dom Williams
Denver Broncos Injury Report (Friday)
The only player ruled out by the Broncos is top backup tackle Donald Stephenson. That could be significant if Menelik Watson, who appeared on the injury report this week with a foot injury, has to leave the game. Watson isn’t listed on the final injury report, so he seems to be OK, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Starting linebacker Todd Davis, starting guard Ronald Leary, and starting wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders are all questionable. It sounds like they’re pushing to play, however.
OT Donald Stephenson (calf)
ILB Todd Davis (ankle)
OG Ron Leary (elbow)
WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle)
TE Jake Butt
QB Chad Kelly
DE Jared Crick
WR Carlos Henderson
ILB Corey Nelson
OG Billy Turner
DE Billy Wynn