Howard hauled in his lone target for seven yards in Sunday's 31-15 loss to Tampa Bay. Howard began the 2021 campaign on the Eagles' practice squad but joined the active roster for the first time at the end of October. He landed a contract in November and appeared in seven total regular-season games. He recorded double-digit touches in each of those appearances but was limited in the wild-card round because Miles Sanders and Boston Scott were available. Across his seven regular-season appearances, Howard tallied 86 carries for 406 yards and three touchdowns while catching two of five targets for 19 yards. The 27-year-old is slated to become an unrestricted free agent during the offseason.
Howard and Boston Scott are expected to rotate in behind lead option Miles Sanders (hand) for reps out of the backfield in Sunday's wild-card game against the Buccaneers, Mike Kaye of The Newark Star-Ledger reports. Howard and Scott were sidelined for the regular-season finale against Dallas due to stints on the reserve/COVID-19 list, while Sanders was out for the second game in a row as he continued to recover from hand surgery. When Sanders was idle for the Week 17 win in Washington, Scott played a position-leading 52 percent of the offensive snaps and took 14 carries for 47 yards and two scores to go with four receptions for 39 yards, while Howard played 34 percent of snaps and finished with 11 carries for 26 yards. Both Howard and Scott will be hard pressed to see double-digit touches in the postseason opener, as head coach Nick Sirianni said that Sanders will face "no limitations" this Sunday after practicing fully Friday, according to Geoff Mosher of InsideTheBirds.com. That said, Sanders hasn't topped 60 percent of snaps since Week 6, so the Eagles should have small roles in the game plan available for both Howard and Scott. Scott is a decent bet to serve as a change-of-pace option who can relieve Sanders if there's any question about his ability to catch the ball securely in his return from the hand injury, while Howard's sturdy six-foot, 222-pound frame makes him well suited for short-yardage and goal-line work.
The Eagles activated Howard (illness) from the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday. Philadelphia returned all of its players on the virus list to the active roster ahead of Sunday's wild-card game in Tampa Bay, including three key skill-position players in Howard and Boston Scott along with tight end Dallas Goedert. Meanwhile, No. 1 back Miles Sanders (hand) was sidelined along with Howard and Scott in the Eagles' Week 18 loss to the Cowboys, which allowed Kenneth Gainwell (12 carries for 78 yards and a touchdown, four catches for nine yards) to fill a three-down role. Sanders' status for the first round of the playoffs this weekend isn't yet clear, but if he's not ready to go, Howard and Scott likely would share most of the carries, while Gainwell would serve as more of a change-of-pace option.
Howard (illness) remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Saturday's game against the Cowboys, Zach Berman of The Athletic reports. As does Boston Scott (illness), and with Miles Sanders out with a hand injury, look for Kenneth Gainwell to head the Eagles' Week 18 rushing attack, while Jason Huntley is available to mix in as well. Howard and Scott thus will need to clear the NFL's COVID-19 protocols in order to be available for the team's postseason opener next weekend.
The Eagles placed Howard on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Howard was one of 12 Eagles placed on the list Monday after all tested positive. In addition to Howard, fellow running back Boston Scott (illness) landed on the list, leaving rookie Kenneth Gainwell as the only healthy backfield option on the active roster ahead of Saturday's regular-season finale versus the Cowboys. Head coach Nick Sirianni already said earlier Monday that lead back Miles Sanders (hand) is expected to miss a second straight game this weekend.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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