HOUSTON – Todd Herremans stayed silent all week about his left biceps injury that he suffered in Arizona as everyone wondered if he could possibly play with such a strength-sapping injury.
Herremans lined up for the 124th start of his Eagles career on Sunday and lasted until the third quarter, when he finally went to the sideline with an ankle injury. Andrew Gardner replaced Herremans and played the remainder of the game.
It was a tough-guy effort for Herremans, who played with a heavy brace on his left arm and saw a lot of monster defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who recorded seven total tackles, 1.5 quarterback sacks and a tackle for a loss.
An offensive line that last year had continuity for 17 weeks remains in flux. The Eagles hope that left guard Evan Mathis can return to the lineup on Monday night against Carolina. Jason Kelce returned at center on Sunday as the Eagles piled up 483 total net yards, 30 first downs, converted 9 of 16 third downs and scored on all three trips inside the Houston 20-yard line.
"Everybody just does his part and fills in where needed," said Gardner. "We're all here for a reason."
Kelce suffered some cramps during the game but didn't miss any of the team's 79 offensive snaps.
"I felt fine out there," he said. "It was good to get back out on the field, knock off some rust and get a win in a tough place against a very good defense."
What's next for the offensive line? Herremans is a big-time question mark for Monday night's game against Carolina. Mathis said he's ready to go. But this is a "war of attrition," said head coach Chip Kelly. And in instances like that, all hands are on deck and ready for action. That's been the theme of the offensive line this season.