After all that, there’s a chance Jalen Hurts and his sprained right shoulder might play Saturday at Dallas.
So says, Jalen Hurts, M.D.
- “Definitely a chance,” the Eagles’ quarterback said Tuesday. “I’m feeling fine, feeling fine. It’s a week where we’re keeping everything business as usual.
- “We’re playing a really good team, a really good opponent and doing everything we can on a short week to be at full health.
- “There are a whole bunch of things that go into different decisions that are made, but ultimately I want to do what’s best for the team.
- “It’s a thing where you take it one day at a time and the best thing for me is being ready to play and being of best health.”
Yes, it’s possible Hurts plays, says Nick Sirianni, H.C.
- “I don’t put anything past Jalen Hurts as far as his mental and physical toughness,” the head coach said. “There’s a chance he could play this week.
- “He is one of the toughest guys I know, and he heals fast. He’s a freak …
- “He came back fast from his injury last year [sprained ankle], and I will not rule him out, will not put a timetable on him, and we’ll see. We’ll see what happens this week.”
We don’t know if Hurts is being optimistic, or if the Eagles are trying to keep the Cowboys guessing. Or both.
Hurts was driven into the frozen Soldier Field ground, hard, by Bears defensive end Trevis Gipson on Sunday. Hurts stayed down a moment and accepted help from Jordan Mailata in getting to his feet. Hurts didn’t miss a play.
Hurts was 7-of-10 for 110 yards after the injury. That included the long pass to A.J. Brown for 68 yards — a pass that seems impossible with a shoulder sprain.
- “I had to find a way,” Hurts said. “And in the end that’s what it’s all about.
- “As a team, as players, as individuals, we all have things that we want to accomplish together and ultimately we want to find a way to get them done.”
WILL HURTS PLAY?
There are serious forces of nature at play in deciding if Hurts can play. Hurts being Hurts — and players being players — Sirianni knows the player always wants to play, if possible.
- “You always have to protect the player,” Sirianni said. “These guys, they all want to play through everything. That’s why we know we’re a tough football team.
- “Why are we tough? Because of the men that sit in these seats out here. They’re tough. They’re physical. They’re tough. That’s why we’re tough.
- “So, you always have to do what you think is best for them. Like hey, can this injury get any worse? Can he play through this? …
- “So, we have to do the things we need to do to protect them because I know our guys. I know they’re going to want to play through everything.
- “Hey, I’m not a doctor, either, so I’m not making the decision on if the shoulder is stable this week or whatever. I’m taking the information that we’re getting there and then we’ll make a decision that’s best for Jalen.”
The Eagles have clinched a playoff berth but need one win in their final three games to earn home-field for the playoffs. Back-up quarterback Gardner Minshew might be under center against the Eagles’ most hated rival.
Sirianni was asked if the Eagles shouldn’t be patient, given their lofty postseason aspirations. His goal is to win Saturday.
- “Because we don’t take anything for granted,” Sirianni said. “We want to make sure that we go out there and take care of our business.
- “We all know, we need to win one more game to make sure that we win the division. That’s your first goal that you want to do.
- “We want to go out there and win this game, and if a guy is ready to play, then he’s ready to play.
- “We’re never going to put the guy in a scenario where we’re going to be detrimental to him, or set him back. So, it is all about if he’s ready to play.
- “We think that that’s a possibility.”
Hurts was having an MVP-like season before the injury. The Eagles have cruised through this no-drama season with little stress. They have lost the fewest number of games to injuries by starters in the NFL — 13 going into the Bears’ game.
They’re 13-1. They have a roster as good as any — and they have a quarterback as good as any, too. Teams often don’t have seasons like this one. They know what is possible. Possibly playing without Hurts is their biggest challenge.
- “We will play him [Hurts] when he’s ready to play,” Sirianni said. “If that’s this week, that’s this week. If it’s next week, it’s next week.
- “When Jalen’s ready to play, he’s ready to play all aspects of it. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
- “We’ll see what happens this week, but both guys will be ready to go.”
Despite what’s on the line Saturday, the Eagles must think long-term. Win or lose, it’s one game. Play Hurts when he is healthy. There might be a whole season at stake.