Eagles Deliver Encouraging Update on Jalen Hurts, Starting QB Decision

Jalen Hurts

Getty Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is outworking his competition, and it's showing on the field.

Jalen Hurts was on the practice field throwing the football and moving in the pocket as he attempts to return. The starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles is a “freak,” according to head coach Nick Sirianni. And he’s doing everything in his power to give it a go on Sunday.

Sirianni still hasn’t ruled Hurts out for their Week 17 matchup versus New Orleans. He told reporters on Friday that he has two more days to make a final decision on whether it’ll be Hurts or Gardner Minshew under center. The entire organization — coaches, doctors, front office, plus Hurts himself — has a say in what happens next.

“We’re still sorting through that,” Sirianni told reporters. “Obviously Jalen had a good practice yesterday [Thursday] and went out and looked like he did some things really well so still gonna sort through all those things, still haven’t decided anything yet.”

When asked which player took the bulk of the first-team reps at Thursday’s practice, Sirianni got tight-lipped: “In-house business there.”

Then, Sirianni went on to explain the steps needed for Hurts to take the field for what could be the game that clinches both the NFC East title and No. 1 overall seed in the NFC.

“Everything matters with how he’s feeling and what we feel like the timetable is and what the doctors are saying,” Sirianni said. “All those things, everything matters, everything’s in play. Obviously, the first and foremost thing is what’s most important for Jalen, that his health is taken into consideration first, and if it’s safe for him to be out there. And then from there, you do what’s best for the team. But you first do what’s best for the individual.”

Sirianni on Hurts: ‘Velocity Good, Accuracy Good’

Hurts was zipping passes with ease during the portion of practice open to the media on Thursday. He looked to be in good spirits and showed no noticeable sign of a debilitating injury. According to Sirianni, Hurts had good velocity and accuracy.

“The velocity of the ball was good, accuracy was good,” Sirianni said. “He felt good, those were the main things and that’s what you want to see.”

However, players aren’t allowed to wear the red “no contact” jerseys during regular-season games. Sirianni joked about petitioning the NFL to allow that, but the reality is that Hurts will only suit up on Sunday if he’s 100% cleared by doctors. No, the final decision isn’t solely up to Hurts.

“If it was just Jalen’s decision on this of course he would go out and play,” Sirianni said. “He’d go out and play with way worse things, maybe, just because we know how tough he is.”

No Immediate Updates on Starting Right Tackle

Lane Johnson is out until at least the first round of the playoffs as he recovers from a torn abductor muscle in the groin area. He has decided to forego surgery and attack his rehab aggressively. Jack Driscoll is the next man up on the depth chart, and he was the one who filled in last week against Dallas.

But the Eagles aren’t fully committed to tabbing Driscoll as the starter there. Sirianni admitted the team is toying with the idea of moving Jordan Mailata over to right tackle and inserting Andre Dillard at left tackle. All options are on the table.

“We have options there. That’s a good thing, right? Three good options,” Sirianni said.

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