Jordan Howard Fantasy Outlook Cloudy Despite Injury Update for NFC Wild Card Game

Jordan Howard labeled a "situational back" this weekend.
Jordan Howard labeled a "situational back" this weekend. / Corey Perrine/Getty Images

After a long absence due to a shoulder injury, running back Jordan Howard was finally been cleared for contact last week against the New York Giants, but he only played one snap. His role is expected to grow against the Seattle Seahawks, but head coach Doug Pederson's report on Howard clouds his fantasy value.

Early in the season, Howard performed as the hammer in this Philly backfield, managing early-down and short-yardage work, which resulted in fruitful goal line touches. However, a shoulder injury knocked him out of action for awhile, and we still do not know how much contact he will be able to take.

This could be part of the reason why coach Pederson described Howard as a "situational back" for this weekend. He also said that Howard could play on third downs, which is not a role he played early in the season, suggesting it could mostly be for pass protection.

Pass protection could play a big factor in this game, with Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks both inactive on the Eagles offensive line. With the veteran Howard likely the best running back in pass protection, the "situations" Pederson could elect to use him may be where he's afraid Carson Wentz is going to get killed, which isn't exactly a promising spot for fantasy production.

At any rate, Howard's role is up in the air this week, but he still appears to be behind both Miles Sanders and Boston Scott on the depth chart, meaning he should be avoided for fantasy. Howard fails to make our Wild Card PPR fantasy rankings, while Sanders checks in at RB7 and Scott is RB12.

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