Jalen hurts: Eagles QB Hurts has ‘chance’ to play at Dallas

Dec 19, 2022, 8:06 PM | Updated: Dec 20, 2022, 1:08 pm
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a touchdown pass during the second half of a...

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

              Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) reacts with Jordan Mailata (68) after Hurts threw w touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
            
              Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
            
              Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
            
              Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts runs past Tennessee Titans' Andrew Adams during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Imagine this: Jalen Hurts back at quarterback for the Eagles only six days after his right shoulder was mashed into Bermuda sod on a blustery afternoon in Chicago.

The scenario ostensibly has gone from long shot once it was revealed that Hurts had sprained his throwing shoulder — the arm that helped guide Philadelphia to the best record in the NFL and cemented him as a bona fide MVP contender — to plausible on Saturday at Dallas.

“I’m feeling fine, feeling fine,” Hurts said Tuesday. “Definitely a chance.”

What a relief for the Eagles.

What a scare for the rest of the playoff field.

Even if Hurts doesn’t play Saturday when the 13-1 Eagles can clinch the NFC East and the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a win, the fact his availability is on the table means he avoided the worst-case scenario of a significant injury that could have cost him significant time.

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni refused to rule out his franchise QB.

“I do not put it past Jalen Hurts, I don’t put anything past Jalen Hurts as far as his physical and mental toughness,” Sirianni said Tuesday. “There’s a chance he can play this week.”

That lessens the need for a reboot of Minshew Mania in Philly.

The Eagles could take a safe rout and go with backup QB Gardner Minshew, a former starter in Jacksonville who has played well in spot duty and garbage time in two seasons with Philly. The common thought was let Hurts heal up, rest and lay the groundwork for the playoffs.

Plus, the Eagles have been down this path before, in December 2017 when MVP front-runner Carson Wentz was lost to injury and yielded the starting spot to Nick Foles.

Foles went out and won the Eagles the franchise’s first Super Bowl, when he asked his coach about a trick play, “You want Philly Philly?”

So, you want repeat repeat?

Not this year. Hurts is still the man.

“We will play him when he’s ready to play,” Sirianni said. “If that’s this week, it’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.”

The 24-year-old in his second season as a starter has absorbed a variety of hard licks that never knocked him out of a game. Not even against the Bears. Hurts said he grasped he was injured the moment he was tackled by defensive tackle Travis Gipson. He stayed in the game and went 7-of-10 passing for 110 yards — and hit wide receiver A.J. Brown for a 68-yard reception.

“I’m very aware of my body,” Hurts said. “I’ve always been that way. I try and be mindful of those things. I’m pretty good at kind of overcoming those kind of different things.”

Hurts has thrown 22 touchdowns and has 3,472 yards passing, and he has rushed for 747 yards and 13 touchdowns. His 35 total touchdowns this season tied the franchise record set by Randall Cunningham in 1990.

“I’m not one to really talk about myself,” Hurts said. “Obviously, being the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, you can’t run from it.”

After Dallas, the Eagles close the season with home games against New Orleans and the New York Giants. Should they earn the No. 1 seed in the conference, the Eagles could play up to two home games at Lincoln Financial Field in the playoffs.

Hurts wouldn’t mind a repeat of an October win at the Linc when he threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns in a 26-17 victory over the Cowboys.

“I think the best thing for me is being ready to play,” Hurts said.

Hurts had been an MVP front-runner on most betting sites, but he stood at 4-1 on Tuesday, per FanDuel SportsBook. Also per FanDuel, the Cowboys are now a 5 1/2-point favorite to beat the Eagles.

Hurts’ odds might shoot back up should he not miss a snap. Hurts continued to air out against the Bears after the injury and did not seem to be in any pain when he talked to the media after the game, all promising signs for this week.

“I don’t want to talk about myself,” Hurts said. “It took a lot of grit, it took some courage, it took the people around me. We have a ton of guys that have to play through things. We have a ton of guys that have to overcome adversities and obstacles in front of them. I think that was something that we did together.”

The Eagles got more good news Tuesday when star tight end Dallas Goedert was activated off the injured list after he missed five games with a shoulder injury. Goedert, who has 43 receptions for 544 yards and three touchdowns, was hurt in Philadelphia’s only loss of the season, in November against Washington.

Hurts suffered an ankle injury and missed a game last season against the New York Jets. Minshew was 20 of 25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-18 victory on the road and later asked Sirianni what he needed to do to become the starter.

The answer for Saturday might be the same now for the looming free-agent QB as it was a year ago: No one takes Hurts’ spot.

“It’s not the first time I’ve had things I’ve had to overcome,” Hurts said. “Nothing changes about this other than the publicity of it. The mentality of this team, it’s truly about just being ready go into Saturday. It’s going to take everybody like it does every week.”

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A Russian flag is held above the Olympic Rings at Adler Arena Skating Center during the Wint...
Associated Press

Paris mayor: No Russian team at 2024 Games if war continues

PARIS (AP) — Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says there should be no Russian delegation allowed at the Paris Olympics next year if Moscow continues its war against Ukraine. Hidalgo previously said Russian competitors could take part under a neutral flag but she backpedaled on Tuesday in an interview with French media France Info. Acknowledging that […]
1 day ago
FILE - A woman passes by the Olympic rings at the City Hall in Paris, on  July 25, 2022. Latvia is ...
Associated Press

Nordic sports bodies urge IOC to ban Russian athletes

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The five Olympic committees in the Nordic region on Tuesday urged the International Olympic Committee to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from “international sports participation” because of the war in Ukraine. The bodies from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway said they wanted to expressed their “steadfast support once […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts after being called for a foul in the second half...
Associated Press

Ticket demand, anticipation grows as LeBron nears Kareem

Courtside seats 166 and 167 at the arena where the Los Angeles Lakers play their home games are pretty much as good as it gets. The people occupying those chairs when LeBron James breaks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA scoring record will have an up-close view, with their feet on the very hardwood where the history-making shot […]
1 day ago
A customer, right, makes a sports bet at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., Monday, Fe...
Associated Press

Group: 1 in 5 US adults will bet on this year’s Super Bowl

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A record 50.4 million American adults plan to bet on this year’s Super Bowl, wagering a total of $16 billion, the gambling industry’s national trade group predicted Tuesday. The American Gaming Association forecasts that 1 in 5 American adults will place a bet on Sunday’s NFL championship game between the […]
1 day ago
Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) passes against New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) d...
Associated Press

Nets’ Irving drama makes other East contenders look stable

Blake Griffin is no stranger to trade drama. He was dealt from the Clippers to the Pistons in 2018, and last season he was playing for the Brooklyn Nets when they sent James Harden to Philadelphia in a February blockbuster. These days, Griffin is with the Boston Celtics, who seem awfully stable when compared with […]
1 day ago
FILE - Chelsea's Pedro, left, and Newcastle United's Christian Atsu vie for the ball during the Eng...
Associated Press

Former Chelsea forward Atsu rescued after Turkey earthquake

Former Chelsea and Newcastle forward Christian Atsu was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building following the deadly earthquake that struck Turkey, the Ghana Football Association said in a Twitter post Tuesday. The Ghana international plays for Turkish club Hatayspor. A club spokesman on Monday told Turkish media that Atsu was thought to be […]
1 day ago
Jalen hurts: Eagles QB Hurts has ‘chance’ to play at Dallas