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Here's the Deal with Jordan Howard

The Eagles will likely use their final practice squad elevation on the veteran RB vs. Chargers, but then what?

Jordan Howard remains on the outside looking in.

As a gameday practice squad elevation, the Eagles’ running back is not on the 53-man roster.

Not yet anyway.

Right now, though, he is available to any team who saw what he did against the Lions and decides that maybe he can help them.

The Titans went a different route, claiming 36-year-old Adrian Peterson to replace Derrick Henry, who will have foot surgery and may miss the rest of the season.

That doesn’t mean another team won’t bite, though it's not likely at this point.

Howard said nobody wanted him this offseason, except the Eagles and that is why he signed with them.

One game with two touchdowns and 57 yards on 12 carries does not signal a return to his glory days from 2016-19 with the Bears when he had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons followed by one with 934 and a combined 24 touchdowns.

Do something similar while continuing showing the hammering style of running the 6-foot, 220-pound Howard is known for again, this time against the Chargers on Sunday, and that may change.

One thing that will change is that the Eagles will have a decision to make.

On Tuesday, the Eagles can protect four practice squad players and Howard will undoubtedly be one. His expected elevation for Sunday would be his last one.

Eagles running back Jordan Howard is reportedly cleared to play after missing last six games with shoulder injury

Jordan Howard

With Miles Sanders expected to miss at least two more games, something will have to give with Howard – sign him to the roster or move on.

“Obviously, we are in constant communication with all these things,” said head coach Nick Sirianni. “We want to be able to keep all our good players. If you brought Jordan up, then you have to put somebody down.

“But obviously we know how important Jordan was to the win (over the Lions on Sunday) and that we need him on this football team, and so that's always in communication. Obviously, that's something we don't have to do at this particular moment, but we'll keep talking through it as we go.”

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The Eagles’ roster is full at the moment.

Jalen Reagor and Jack Driscoll were injured against the Lions, but Sirianni said he hopes both will be available this week. Whatever the ailment, it doesn’t sound like an IR stint would be needed which would open a spot.

There’s the chance the Eagles could trade somebody by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline which could also open a roster spot if the deal does not include another player coming back.

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Something else to consider is that, if Howard is signed to the roster and Sanders returns against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 21, another decision would have to be made down the road since four running backs on a roster are probably one too many.

“Miles was obviously super excited for his teammates,” said Sirianni, who said that the injured RB texted him a “HELL YEA” message after Sunday’s win. “Miles is a great teammate. He's a great person, a great teammate, great player. Sure glad we have him on the team. Obviously, we're missing him right now and looking forward to when he gets back.”

The usage of Howard and Boston Scott, ahead of rookie Kenny Gainwell was something Sirianni also addressed on Monday.

Gainwell had been the No. 2 running back behind Sanders.

Against Detroit, Gainwell was No. 3 behind Scott and Howard, though he had more carries (13) than either Scott or Howard, those came after the game was well out of reach and the Eagles were just killing the clock.

“We felt good about practice with Boston,” said the coach. “That's why we started with him, just the week of practice that led up into it.

“With [running] backs, I think I've said this before, like it's never going to be something like, ‘Hey, this back is having 20 carries, this back has 10,’ whatever the number is. We're very aware when a back gets a hot hand, we'll ride that hot hand. 

"That's been my experience and what we will continue to do. A guy gets hot, we'll ride the hot hand. That's kind of how that played out.”

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Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.