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Eagles RB Jordan Howard happy to beat former team but doesn’t ‘need validation from anybody’

Howard isn’t usually chatty, but he made an exception Sunday. He was facing the team that traded him for a sixth-round draft pick in March.

Chicago Bears v Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles running back Jordan Howard runs for a touchdown against his former team, the Bears.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA — Eagles running back Jordan Howard isn’t usually chatty, but he made an exception Sunday. He had just gotten done facing the Bears, who traded him for a sixth-round draft pick in March.

‘‘I did a little more talking than I usually do,’’ Howard said after the Eagles’ 22-14 victory. ‘‘There was a little back-and-forth with the guys. Everything else was normal. It was definitely a little strange because I didn’t really go against them in practice. They never really tackled me.’’

They didn’t tackle him much Sunday, either. Howard carried 19 times for 82 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown run on which he wasn’t touched.

Howard said he was ‘‘definitely amped up for this one a little more’’ but didn’t need the game to extract any kind of revenge.

‘‘I don’t need validation from anybody,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t worry about what they do because I’m here now.’’

Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack was impressed.

‘‘J-Howard, man, hell of a ballplayer,’’ Mack said. ‘‘He runs the ball tough. But you can’t give him those lanes. We gave him a lot of different things early, and they were able to capitalize on it.’’

The Bears traded Howard because they didn’t think he fit into coach Matt Nagy’s offense — and because he was set to make $2.03 million in the last year of his rookie contract. He made $630,000 last season.

The Bears have struggled on the ground all season. Howard’s 82 yards were more than all but one rushing performance by a Bears running back this season.

In the first half, the Eagles were able to move the line of scrimmage against a Bears front that missed nose tackle Eddie Goldman after he left with a thigh injury.

The Eagles found their rhythm again on a 16-play, 69-yard drive that chewed up 8:14 of the last 8:39 of the game. During that drive, Howard and rookie Miles Sanders had four carries apiece.

‘‘I definitely feel like we’re getting in a pretty good groove in the running game,’’ said Howard, who went to the medical tent late in the game — and the X-ray room after it — with an unknown injury. ‘‘The offensive line has been doing a great job all season, but they have taken it to another level. They are dominating guys and pushing them out of the way, making it easy for us.’’