Howard, who is officially designated as questionable, was not cleared for contact since suffering a shoulder stinger in Week 9 against the Bears and was a limited participant in practice all week coming off the team's bye. According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the injury isn't considered to be long term for the Eagles' leading rusher this season.
Rookie Miles Sanders is expected to get a bulk of the snaps with Howard out. Jay Ajayi, who signed with the Eagles on Friday, is slated to be active against the Patriots, according to Rapoport. Boston Scott is the remaining back available for the Eagles after the team announced this week that veteran Darren Sproles (hip) will miss the rest of the season.
Other news we're monitoring ahead of Sunday's games:
»Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (ankle) will be a game-time decision in tonight's road game against the Rams, according to Rapoport. The rookie rolled his ankle earlier this week in practice, which forced Montgomery to miss Thursday's session and had him be a limited participant on Friday.
»Houston Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) is officially active to play in today's showdown against the Baltimore Ravens. Coming off the team's bye week, Tunsil missed only one game after suffering the shoulder injury in Week 8. Texans receiver Will Fuller and defensive back Bradley Roby, who were designated as out on Saturday, are officially inactive, while defensive back Vernon Hargreaves, who was claimed earlier this week by the team, is inactive also.
Running back Duke Johnson is officially active for the Texans on Sunday, which means he'll be active for the 10th game this season for Houston. Therefore, the Cleveland Browns, who traded Johnson to the Texans earlier this season, will receive a third-round pick. Initially, the Browns were to receive a fourth-round selection, but if Johnson was active for at least 10 games, the pick would improve to a third-rounder and on Sunday it has.
»Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman and tight end Austin Hooper are officially inactive for Sunday's game.