Jalen Hurts went through pregame warmups on Thursday night and showed no signs of any injury. When the lights came on and the opening whistle blew, Joe Flacco was the starting quarterback.
Later, the Philadelphia Eagles announced Hurts was dealing with an undisclosed illness (not COVID-19) and out for the second preseason game. Hurts was actually dealing with a stomach bug, according to head coach Nick Sirianni. The Eagles lost 35-0 to the New England Patriots in an embarrassing fashion.
Flacco went 10-of-17 for 83 yards, with an interception and fumble. The former Super Bowl MVP employed a mostly dink-and-dunk strategy and proved why he is a backup at this point in his career. He did hit DeVonta Smith for his first career NFL reception on a nine-yard pass play in the first half.
Throw the score and stats out the window. The only thing on people’s minds was what happened to Hurts. The Eagles’ starter enjoyed a dominant week of joint practices, plus he looked nimble and confident prior to kickoff. Sirianni said the plan was to play Hurts for “one or two series,” then his health took a turn for the worst.
“Yea, we decided we wanted to play him one or two series today but we came in after warmups and he wasn’t feeling well,” Sirianni told Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro, “so we’re evaluating him and we’ll have more after the game.”
After the game, Sirianni revealed Hurts was feeling pain in his abdomen during pregame warmups. He begged Sirianni to let him play, but the team rushed him to the hospital for a stomach evaluation. Hurts was discharged with no lingering concerns. The Eagles will most likely give the quarterback a few days off. Here is Sirianni’s explanation:
We put him through pregame warmups. He wanted to go out there and go through pregame warmups. Came back in and he still wasn’t feeling good. We evaluated him. We just decided it wasn’t in his best interests to play given what he was feeling. We evaluated him. He’s fine now. He’s doing OK now but that’s why we held him out.
He actually went to the hospital to get evaluated for his stomach. He came back, everything is good and he’s going to be OK. He had pain in his abdomen. For a guy like that to tell us, he’s a tough guy, so it must have been hurting pretty good for him to let us know about that.
The latest Eagles news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Eagles newsletter here!
Jason Croom Leaves Field on Cart
Eagles reserve tight end Jason Croom twisted his right knee badly on a non-contact play in the first half. The medical staff put an air cast on Croom’s leg as the entire team came over to console him. He rode off on a cart and his 2021 season is very much in jeopardy.
Croom, a converted college wide receiver, was trying to make the roster as the third tight end. Tyree Jackson was winning that job through the first three weeks of training camp until a back injury sidelined him earlier this week. Veteran Richard Rodgers and rookie Jack Stoll are the remaining options at tight end.
K’Von Wallace Re-Aggravates Groin Injury
Second-year safety K’Von Wallace re-aggravated a groin injury that kept him out of the first preseason game. The former Clemson standout returned ahead of schedule – channeling his inner Wolverine – and started on Thursday night against the Patriots. He recorded two tackles before leaving the field for good.
Marcus Epps would likely slide into Wallace’s starting spot if he’s out for an extended period. Both players are simply place-holders for rehabbing Rodney McLeod. Look for Andrew Adams, Blake Countess, Elijah Riley, Grayland Arnold to all see significantly more snaps.