Eagles finally add Howard to their 53-man roster


He’s already one of the Eagles’ best players.

Now he’s actually on the roster.

The Eagles signed practice squad running back Jordan Howard to the 53-man roster Wednesday after he ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns with a 4.4 average against the Lions and Chargers as a game-day practice squad elevation.

NFL teams are allowed to elevate two players per week from the practice squad to the game-day roster, but each player can only be elevated twice. So the only way Howard could play again for the Eagles is if was signed him to the 53-man roster.

Two years ago, Howard was the Eagles’ leading rusher when he hurt his neck in a Week 9 game against the Bears, the team that drafted him in the 5th round in 2016. That injury opened the door for Miles Sanders to enjoy a huge rookie season.

But Sanders hurt his ankle in the Eagles’ game against the Raiders on Oct. 24 and is currently on Injured Reserve. He’s eligible to be activated after the Eagles-Broncos game on Sunday, although it’s not known if he’ll be ready to return immediately.

With Howard now on the roster, the Eagles will have four running backs on the 53 — Sanders Howard, Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell.

Howard rushed for 3,370 yards and 24 touchdowns in three years with the Bears, 3rd-most rushing yards in the league during that period.

He ran for 525 yards and six TDs with the Eagles before getting hurt in 2019 and then had a disastrous stay in 2020 with the Dolphins, where he averaged just 1.2 yards on 28 carries before getting released after five games.

So from Week 10 of 2019 through Week 7 of 2021, Howard had only 35 carries in a nearly two-year stretch.

He resurfaced with the Eagles at the end of the season and had seven carries. When no teams were interested in signing him, Howard feared his career was over at 26 years old.

“I was at the point I was having thoughts I might be done because teams weren’t really calling,” he said after finally signing with the Eagles in April. “Facing some adversity definitely humbled me. I always play with a chip on my shoulder, but at this point, teams that wrote me off and just didn’t think I had it anymore, I just can’t wait to prove people wrong.”

Howard, who turned 27 last week, has 4,083 career rushing yards and 37 touchdowns. He ranks 10th in Eagles history with 48.6 rushing yards per game.

Howard fills the roster spot that opened when the Eagles released rookie cornerback Mac McCain on Tuesday.

For the games NFL players are elevated from the practice squad, they receive the pro-rated portion of what their minimum salary would be if they were on the roster.

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