Age is just a number, right? Jalen Hurts will become the youngest quarterback in franchise history to start a playoff game. Tom Brady has 21 years on the Philadelphia Eagles’ star heading into Sunday’s wild-card showdown.
Hurts has all the poise, confidence and maturity of someone double Brady’s age. Nothing seems to rattle him. Even when a reporter asked a question he didn’t like during Wednesday’s media availability, he brushed it off and politely said: “Next question.” Hurts is laser-focused on the task at hand, and that task involves beating the defending Super Bowl champions. And the greatest quarterback to ever do it.
“We’ve put ourselves in a great position being where we are right now,” Hurts told reporters. “And we know how far we’ve come as a team, as an offense, as a defense, as a special teams group, and we just want to continue to do the things that have gotten us here. Focusing on the process, focusing on getting better, focusing on the fundamentals, all the little things we talk about.”
Head coach Nick Sirianni set the tone early in the week when he stressed the importance of fundamentals and paying attention to “minute details.” Center Jason Kelce has been in everyone’s ear about it, too. For Hurts, nothing has changed since Week 1.
“I preach about the process,” Hurts said. “I preached about it when we were 2-5 and I preached about it when we made the run to get to this point. Nothing changes as far as our preparation and our intent as a football team.”
When Hurts was asked to recall his favorite Tom Brady playoff moment, his mind went completely blank.
“I don’t remember,” Hurts said.
How could he? The Eagles quarterback was only three years old when Brady made his first postseason start, a 16-13 win over the Raiders in the infamous “Tuck Rule” game on January 19, 2002. No DVR. No Netflix. No memory.
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Sirianni Updates Hurts’ Ankle Sprain
Part of the decision to let Hurts sit out in Week 18 was to give his injured ankle another week to heal. Questions lingered about decreased mobility with Hurts running for only 44 yards in a Week 17 start. His season average stands at 52.3 yards per game.
Sirianni said he wasn’t worried about Hurts’ health, although the coach admitted that the quarterback’s high ankle sprain isn’t 100%.
“Jalen is feeling pretty good,” Sirianni said. “We’re going to go out there and practice with a walk-through today, but we’ll get more and more information on him as the week goes on. But I know the last week off really helped him heal and get better and closer to that 100%.”
Eagles Release First Injury Report
The Eagles participated in a walk-through on Wednesday over traditional practice. It’s been the norm since November 18 as a way to keep guys fresh and let their bodies heal. The team did release an “estimation” of an injury report, though.
Jason Kelce (rest), Lane Johnson (rest/knee), Fletcher Cox (rest), Josh Sweat (illness) were listed out. None of those seem out of the ordinary or troublesome. Meanwhile, Miles Sanders (hand) was a limited participant which was a huge step in the right direction. He hadn’t practiced at all since fracturing his hand on December 26.