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Jalen Hurts 'on a mission' to play, but doubtful for Sunday

Gardner Minshew
Gardner Minshew

While it is still not official who is going to be the Eagles' starting quarterback on Sunday, Gardner Minshew made it clear on Friday afternoon that if he is called upon to start his second consecutive game, he will be ready for the moment.

"It was a good week of practice, a real good week," he said at his NovaCare Complex locker. "I feel like I'm ready to go."

Starter Jalen Hurts was again a partial participant in the Friday practice, as he was on Thursday, and Head Coach Nick Sirianni said that Hurts "had a good practice yesterday (Thursday) and went out and looked like he did some things really well," but the team listed the quarterback as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Saints.

The Eagles are extremely impressed with Hurts' return to action, and are excited about where he is in his recovery from the right shoulder sprain that he incurred in the win over the Chicago Bears in Week 15. Minshew told reporters on Friday that Hurts is "on a mission" to get back on the field and that energy could be felt throughout the entire NovaCare Complex all week as the Eagles look to secure the NFC East title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs with a win over the Saints.

As valiantly as Hurts is fighting to be ready for Sunday's game, the Eagles have to do what's best for all parties involved. And that's not allowing the quarterback to call an audible in this instance.

"Obviously the first and foremost thing that's most important for Jalen is that his health is always taken into consideration first and if it's safe for him to be out there," Sirianni said. "Then from there, then you do what's best for the team, but you first do what's best for the individual."

Minshew, who completed 24 of 40 passes for 355 yards, and accounted for three total touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss to the Cowboys, is prepared.

"The coaches have done a great job all year getting me (practice) reps," Minshew said, "making sure I stayed ready. It's been good. It's a fun group to work with. They're really smart football players, high football IQs."

Minshew said that the Saints, the No. 2-ranked pass defense in the NFL, is "a great defense. They're really hot right now, very physical. Their front does a good job stopping the run and they match up well and they're physical on the back end, so they present a good challenge, one we're excited to face."

There is no exact timetable for Hurts' return. The focus is on Sunday and returning to Lincoln Financial Field after three straight road games.

"It will be great, man. I'm excited to get home. It's been a while," Minshew said. "I think the energy is going to be great, excited to get out there in front of our people."

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