Zach Ertz Cleared For Eagles-Lions Game
The story of Wally Pipp serves as a cautionary tale professional athletes still think about more than 90 years after it happened, but for Zach Ertz, he no longer has to be concerned about potentially losing his job as Pipp did to Lou Gehrig after missing a baseball game one day in 1925.
Ertz missed the Eagles’ last two games due to a displaced rib he suffered in Week 1, but he was cleared today to play against the Lions in Detroit this week.
“Honestly, every day not being out there at practice, not being at the games killed me,” Ertz said. “Not being able to even travel to Chicago killed me. It was very tough. It’s very eye-opening. Everyone knows the story about Wally Pipp. I don’t think that was going to happen, but at the same time, everyone understands the possibility across the league.”
According to Ertz, doctors are “very confident” his “freak” injury won’t happen again, as it was the first time they’ve seen such a thing. Ertz spent the Eagles’ bye last week in Philadelphia getting treatment, after which doctors became “really happy” about his progress.
Ertz was a full participant in the Eagles’ 10-10-10 practice today, as was Leodis McKelvin, who also missed the Bears and Steelers games due to a left hamstring injury. McKelvin, who has been cleared, noted he probably wouldn’t have played last week if the Eagles had a game, but he feels “a whole lot better” as it “looks like” he’ll play this week.
“It’s very tough. You want to get off to a fast start,” McKelvin said. “So the bye week came at the best week for me. Thank the Lord!”
SHEPHERD’S BACK (AGAIN)
For the third time in less than two weeks, the Eagles swapped cornerback JaCorey Shepherd and offensive lineman Darrell Greene on the practice squad. The Birds signed Shepherd and released Greene on September 21, before cutting Shepherd and bringing back Greene on September 27. Today, they’ve once again released Greene in favor of Shepherd.
Shepherd, who said he’s been staying “right around the corner” from the NovaCare Complex for the past month, called the series of moves “crazy,” while noting he hasn’t been told why the Eagles keep swapping him for Greene. However, he added that he’s fully healthy after his hamstring injury limited his participation in training camp.
“Most people don’t say it, but that time off I had was a blessing,” Shepherd said. “Going through the process after final cuts gave me extra time to make sure I was good.”