The Eagles are coming off of a bye heading into Week 11. We are just a few days away from the big Super Bowl rematch between the Eagles and Chiefs on Monday Night Football, and the official injury report is out. The best news for Eagles fans is that QB Jalen Hurts avoided the list altogether.
When asked about the bye-week on Thursday, Hurts said, “The bye couldn’t have come at a better time, and some of the guys on the team took advantage of that time. Just being able to refresh. Obviously, getting ready for this second half of the year. I think it’s been good for us all.”
Hurts had a lingering knee injury that had aggravated him throughout the early part of the season. When asked about it coming into Week 9, Hurts even left a press conference abruptly out of frustration.
When pushed to elaborate on how the bye week personally helped him, Hurts said, “Just take time off. It’s a normal bye week of self-evaluation. Getting yourself, your body physically ready for the second half of the year. … Personally, it was a good week.”
Key Players Coming Off Injuries Saw Full Practices This Week
At this point in the year, it’s fairly common for teams to hold walkthroughs instead of full-on padded practices. Teams do this in order to manage health concerns and keep players fresh. Head coach Nick Sirianni, though, must have thought his players could handle a full load because Thursday, players were in full pads.
Some key players still listed on the injury report that saw full practices on Thursday and Friday were guard Cam Jurgens, cornerback Bradley Roby, and tight end Grant Calcaterra. All of these players could be on track to return against the Chiefs on Monday night.
Jurgens has been nursing a foot injury that has kept him out for five weeks. Sua Opeta, as well as rookie Tyler Steen, whom Jason Kelce praised for his relief play, have been mixing in for Jurgens on the front line.
The prospects of Hurts’ knee allowing him to be more mobile and Jurgens being back have many wondering if this 8-1 Eagles team could be even scarier in the later part of the season. The running game has been one of the few areas to criticize, but soon, we might get to see this Eagles offense at full strength.
Getting veteran CB Bradley Roby back should also help an ailing Eagles defense. Just last week LB Nakobe Dean was placed on IR for the second time this season with a Lisfranc injury. Roby has missed all but two games, but his return could be a breath of fresh air.
When asked about Roby in their presser this week, defensive coordinator Sean Desai said, “[Roby]’s a veteran player who has played a little bit for us and been around us now for a little bit. I think that will continue to help with our continuity and just getting more players back.”
Desai then agreed with Roby, who said that he had gotten better acquainted with the defense while he was away. Desai then made the appeal that the extra time Roby had to study and learn the defense will now show itself on the practice field.
Eagles Still Have Questions to Answer at Tight End
One more area of need due to injury coming into this week is the tight end spot. With Dallas Goedert out at least a few more weeks with the fractured right forearm he suffered against the Cowboys, questions persist about how Sirianni will handle the absence.
Calcaterra coming out of concussion protocol will give the Eagles another option and much-needed depth. They also signed TE Noah Togiai over the bye as well. Jack Stoll and Albert Okwuegbunam would seem the favorites to take on Goedert’s passing work, but Sirianni also suggested the team could play around with personnel, which would mean more targets to their star receivers, A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith.
The Eagles look to be only gaining strength as they come into the latter half of the season. They are going to need to bring their very best, though, as they face the Super Bowl champs. Chiefs coach Andy Reid will be coming off a bye as well, which is a circumstance where he rarely loses. He’s even been called “The Bye Master.”