The question on everyone’s minds this week is whether Jalen Hurts will suit up on Sunday and lead the Philadelphia Eagles out of the tunnel in a must-win game. Hurts was listed as a limited participant at Thursday’s practice with a right shoulder injury, but the injury report doesn’t tell the whole story.
Hurts took all the first-team reps at practice, according to best friend A.J. Brown, and the MVP candidate has been telling teammates that he expects to play against the New York Giants. Hurts was wearing the no-contact red shirt during Thursday’s session, but he was chucking darts, showing no signs of hindered velocity or affected accuracy from his sprained SC joint. Brown wasn’t ready to speak for head coach Nick Sirianni, but it sure sounds like he’ll be back under center.
“It looked very sharp. He’s crafty. He’s still knocking the rust off. I think he’ll be fine for Sunday,” Brown told reporters. “Hey, I’m not the person to make those calls but if I had to call it, I would probably say yes.”
When pressed about whether Hurts was running with the first-team offense, Brown replied: “For sure.” Then, Brown added a telling quote: “We’re all excited to see him back. He’s locked in for sure. He definitely had a tempo about him today, even in the walk-through he was telling guys, ‘C’mon, hurry up, get going,’ so glad he’s back.”
Nick Sirianni Labels Jalen Hurts Day to Day
Head coach Nick Sirianni has been tight-lipped about Hurts’ status for Sunday stemming back to his day-after press conference on Monday. He told reporters that his dual-threat quarterback was at the practice facility rehabbing and doing his best to return. However, Sirianni stopped short of naming Hurts the starter for Week 18.
“Jalen has done all the rehab. He’s always in there working,” Sirianni told reporters. “I know they’re getting better each day as far as what they’ve done because of who they are, how they’re rehabbing, how our trainers and our doctors and our strength coaches help them out because we have top-notch guys right there.”
Sirianni also updated the rehab process of injured safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson who was activated to the 21-day practice window earlier this week.
“They’re all a little bit better than what they were even yesterday,” Sirianni said. “Obviously, we’re just waiting to see how they feel, continue throughout the week, to see what their status will be for this week.”
Eagles Missing 3 Players at First Official Practice
The Eagles returned to the practice field on Thursday for the first time after falling to New Orleans 20-10 last week. They participated in a walk-through on Wednesday, one where Hurts reportedly led the first-team offense. One day later, the team got after it for real and three players were missing: right tackle Lane Johnson (groin), cornerback Avonte Maddox (toe), and defensive end Josh Sweat (neck).
Philadelphia also listed Hurts and 11 others as limited participants at Thursday’s practice. Several veterans chose to use a rest day, including A.J. Brown, Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Darius Slay. However, running back Miles Sanders was listed limited with a knee injury and linebacker Shaun Bradley was designated with a wrist injury. Cornerback Zech McPhearson returned from a non-COVID illness.