The whole silly business from a few days ago about Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon being traded to the Eagles because Gordon had started following the Eagles -- and other teams -- on Instagram took a twist Wednesday. MMQB writer Albert Breer reported that the Eagles offered Jordan Howard and an exchange of mid-round picks to the Chargers for Gordon, with the stipulation that the Chargers would have to pay part of Gordon’s salary.
That doesn’t sound like a serious offer -- the Chargers are said to be seeking a first-round pick and more for Gordon, who has scored 38 touchdowns over the past three seasons -- and Howard didn’t take serious offense, when a reporter informed him of it Wednesday.
″I didn’t hear about that, but that’s not my job, to worry about it, my job is just to focus on what’s on hand right now," said Howard, who came to the Eagles from Chicago for a conditional sixth-round pick last spring.
“That doesn’t really make me feel any kind of way. It’s good people are interested in me or whatever," Howard said.
Howard, whose career average of 4.3 yards per carry is better than Gordon’s 4.0, said he doesn’t know yet what his role will be with the Eagles. Second-round rookie Miles Sanders was the running back observers felt stood out the most during training camp.
The Chargers this week tabled contract extension talks with Gordon, 26, who has not reported and presumably isn’t going to be available for them Week 1 against the visiting Colts.
It isn’t clear if Howard follows the Chargers on Instagram.
The Cardinals traded safety/special teams player Rudy Ford to the Eagles for defensive tackle Bruce Hector on Aug. 22, and Hector figured he was maybe moving into a better setup, with a team not as deep in defensive tackles, and a familiar face on the coaching staff in former Eagles defensive line coach Chris Wilson.
But after Wednesday’s practice, Hector was back in the NovaCare locker room. The Cardinals cut him Saturday and he joined the Eagles’ practice squad Sunday.
“Whatever’s thrown at me, just always being ready, prepared for anything coming my way. That’s just how I look at everything that’s happening -- just always be prepared,” Hector said.
Hector, who turns 25 next month, played in eight games last season for the Eagles. He played 72 percent of the defensive snaps last week in the Cards’ preseason-ending 20-7 loss at Denver. Then he got waived.
“No,” Hector said, when asked if the Cards explained why they traded for him and then gave him such a quick hook. They might have just needed a healthy body for the final preseason game. “It happens ... Things just worked out the way they did, and now I’m back in Philly.”
Ford made the Eagles’ roster. So, traded for each other, here they are playing together a few weeks later.
“We kinda laughed about that earlier in practice,” Hector said.
Kyle Lauletta said he had other offers, when the Giants released him a year after drafting him in the fourth round, but the quarterback from Exton and Downingtown East High wanted to come to the Eagles’ practice squad -- not just because he grew up in the area, but because he would have 40-year-old backup quarterback Josh McCown as one of his mentors, along with Carson Wentz, Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Mike Groh.
Lauletta said he knew McCown, a fellow client of agent Mike McCartney.
“I’ve got great guys to learn from in that quarterback room,” Lauletta said. “Me and Josh McCown share the same agent, and that’s a big selling point. Josh is fantastic; he’s already helped me so much in the two days that I’ve been here.”
Lauletta, a standout at Richmond, said he visited with the Eagles going into the 2018 draft, but team officials told him they figured he would be drafted before they were ready to take a QB. “They said, ‘hey, somewhere down the road if we can get you, we’d love to have you.' The opportunity presented itself and here I am,” he said.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson said he thinks “it’s going to be a great welcome back” for DeSean Jackson Sunday “when he makes that first catch, or hopefully, a touchdown.”
Jackson returned to the Eagles this spring after five years wandering in the wilderness, in his case represented by the Redskins and the Bucs. Jackson played his first six seasons here. He, Harold Carmichael and Mike Quick are the only three Eagles with three 1,000-plus-yard seasons receiving.
“I think guys who have been here before, and have felt opening day and have moved on and come back, I think they miss that, a little bit,” Pederson said. “I think he’s going to be excited.”
Jackson affirmed that the opener, against the team he played for from 2014-16, “is going to be a special occasion ... Since I’ve been back, kinda all I could think about was the first time entering the field in the Linc.”
Pederson also said it’s better to have a group of running backs, as the Eagles try to do, rather than one dominant back.
“It’s a grueling, grinding season, particularly on running backs. If you don’t have a couple of guys that you can really kind of hang your hat on, it’s hard to get through a season,” Pederson said. “We also ask our guys to play special teams ... It’s a long season. We want to make sure that they’re fresh when it’s time to be fresh, especially late in the year.”