The Eagles will suit up in their all-back uniforms on Christmas Eve at AT&T Stadium against the Cowboys, but they may be without their MVP-contending quarterback.
It was announced Monday afternoon that Jalen Hurts suffered a shoulder sprain against the Bears on Sunday. His status for Saturday is up-in-the-air. However, Hurts and Nick Sirianni both preach he could be ready by Saturday.
So, who should get the call in Arlington? Should Hurts play through it, or should the ball be handed over to backup Gardner Minshew?
Here are yeas and nays for Hurts:
Tuesday’s press conference showed some optimism for Hurts to take the turf Saturday
Hurts said there’s “definitely a chance” he’ll be able to play.
“Definitely a chance,” Hurts 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.”
Hurts did not miss a snap after Bears defensive end Trevis Gipson landed on top of him and drove his right shoulder into the cold grass and spraining it. In just over a quarter after the injury, he was 7-for-10 for 110 yards, including a 68-yarder to A.J. Brown that set up a late fourth-quarter touchdown.
“I had to find a way,” Hurts said. “I had to find a way. 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.”
“I do not put anything past Jalen Hurts as far as his mental and physical toughness, so there’s a chance he can play this week,” Sirianni said. “He’s one of the toughest guys I know, and he heals fast.
“His body is not like yours or mine. His body is not like ours. He heals fast, he came back fast from his injury last year and I will not rule him out or put a timetable on him.”
Could Hurts be ready by Saturday?
If so, he may very well suit up. We all know if it was up to him, Hurts would be playing Saturday.
“It’s about the healing process,” Sirianni said. “With Jalen, he hurt that in the third quarter, and he was hurting and he had a freaking great 4th quarter, so pain tolerance with this guy I never worry about. He’s an unbelievable competitor, unbelievable toughness. It’ll be more about the healing than the pain because he can play through anything.”
If Hurts is unable to play, Minshew would start in Dallas Saturday. One win or one Cowboys loss the rest of the year gives the Eagles the number-one seed in the NFC.
In his more critical start with the Eagles, Minshew led the Eagles to a big win last season against the Jets in Week 13 at MetLife Stadium. Minshew completed 20 of 25 passes for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Eagles’ 33-18 win. The only time Minshew has played this season has been late in blowouts against the Steelers, Titans, and Giants and he hasn’t been asked to do too much.
The Eagles have such a good team, Minshew could very well lead them to another win.
When you have Brown, DeVonta Smith, and, in my opinion, the best offensive-line in the NFL, anything is possible.
So, it may be worth keeping Hurts on the sideline.
Of course, this is the most anticipated matchup of the season and the number one seed in the NFC can be clinched, but why risk it?
Hurts is the franchise.
The Eagles still have two other chances outside of Saturday to clinch. All they need is one win, and they host the Saints on New Year’s Day and the Giants on January 9. They can easily beat those teams, especially with Hurts.
I would rather clinch a different time than put the franchise quarterback at risk.
Of course, you want Hurts to get the experience and shut Micah Parsons up after calling Hurts a “system quarterback”.
But I feel it just is not worth it.