Eagles Rumors: Zach Ertz 'Pushing Hard' to Play vs. Giants Despite Rib Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2019

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 15: Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during the first half of the game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 15, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles may be without superstar tight end Zach Ertz on Sunday against the New York Giants with an NFC East title and playoff berth on the line.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network on Wednesday, however, Ertz is "pushing hard" to play with a fractured rib:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

#Eagles list TE Zach Ertz (ribs) as not practicing today in an injury-report estimate because there was no practice today. Word is Ertz is pushing hard to play but we’ll see if he gets the green light from docs and athletic trainers.

Add him to the list of key Eagles players battling injuries or out of action:

Zach Berman @ZBerm

The Eagles didn't practice. If they did... Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson would have been out. JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Derek Barnett, Brandon Brooks, Fletcher Cox, Jordan Howard and Jalen Mills would have been limited.

The Eagles are beat up on the offensive side of the ball. Star right tackle Lane Johnson, wideouts Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor and running back Jordan Howard have all missed recent games. Howard, at least, is expected back this week:

Dave Zangaro @DZangaroNBCS

Miles Sanders said he isn’t sure how the workload will be split up with the imminent return of Jordan Howard but he’s happy to have him back. “He makes us better,” Sanders said. #Eagles

Jeffery is out for the season, while Jackson is a possibility to return in the second round of the playoffs if the Eagles make it that far, according to Tim McManus of ESPN.com

So missing Ertz would be an enormous blow for the Eagles on Sunday. Granted, other players have stepped up during the team's three-game winning streak.

Rookie running back Miles Sanders has emerged as a star in the making. Tight end Dallas Goedert was superb against the Dallas Cowboys in a must-win game this past week, catching nine passes for 91 yards and a score. Wide receiver Greg Ward Jr., who spent most of the year on the practice squad, has 15 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown over the past three weeks.

And Carson Wentz has played like a star during the winning streak, throwing for 910 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions while completing 70.6 percent of his passes. Considering his lack of weapons, his play has been all the more impressive.

Losing his favorite target in Ertz would be a blow. The one saving grace in Week 17 if Ertz can't play could be a New York Giants defense that is 26th in passing yards allowed (263.1) and 25th in passing touchdowns sacrificed (29). 

The Eagles have found a way to scrape victories with their season on the line during the past three weeks. They may need to do so again if Ertz can't go against the Giants.