Quarterback Jalen Hurts returned to the NovaCare Complex on Saturday for the team's walkthrough after missing Thursday night's preseason game against the Patriots due to a stomach illness. The Eagles held their first practice since the game on late Sunday afternoon in the indoor facility at the NovaCare Complex and Hurts was a full participant.
Hurts is scheduled to travel with the team on Monday ahead of two joint practices with the New York Jets before Friday night's preseason finale at MetLife Stadium. Head Coach Nick Sirianni said that the amount of work that Hurts and the other starters get in the joint practices will go into the evaluation of how much they will play on Friday. Sirianni was pleased with the schedule and the organization of the joint practices with the Patriots this past week. He spoke with Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh before Sunday's practice to iron out some details and hopes to have similar results in the days ahead.
The Eagles have some work to do from a roster standpoint in the coming weeks. The team must comply with the 80-player limit by Tuesday at 4 PM before getting all the way down to the 53-player limit on August 31. Sirianni explained how the joint practices and the preseason finale will provide more info for the collaboration process between the coaching staff and the front office, but that there's more to the evaluation puzzle than just the on-field work.
"Meeting, how guys are working in meetings and thinking in meetings and walkthroughs, it's all just a tool," Sirianni said. "Some are weighted differently than others, sure, the practices and the preseason games and the joint practices are weighted a little heavier than a walkthrough – a lot heavier than that – but it's just another tool, and it's a good tool to have."
One key difference this season is that there will be a bye week before the first regular-season game on September 12 in Atlanta. As Sirianni looks at the team's current state, he knows that every day is going to be critical, but the end goal is to have the team ready for Week 1.
"You're not playing tomorrow, right, or playing today. You're always going to be like, 'Hey, we got more work to do, we got more work to do, we got more work to do,' and I think anybody that's in a growth mindset is going to think that way," Sirianni said.
"We got three more weeks to go until we get there and we're anticipating ourselves getting better every single day."
One area that Sirianni will look for improvement in the next week is third-down conversions. During Sirianni's time as the Colts' offensive coordinator from 2018-20, Indianapolis ranked sixth in the NFL in that category, but the Eagles have struggled in the first two preseason contests. Sirianni knows that he's not gameplanning, but wants to see better execution of the base plays.
"I think you guys saw when we were out at practice today the third-down jamboree and we've actually done that after both games," Sirianni said. "We're trying to put an extra emphasis on it."
As the Eagles prepare for their trip up the New Jersey Turnpike, here's a look at the injury report:
LB Shaun Bradley – Groin
T Le'Raven Clark – Ramp-up period
DT Fletcher Cox – Groin
T Andre Dillard – Knee
CB Craig James – Foot
LB JaCoby Stevens – Hamstring
• Day to Day
LB Genard Avery – Groin
DE Derek Barnett – Shoulder
DT Javon Hargrave – Ankle
RB Jason Huntley – Ribs
LB Ryan Kerrigan – Thumb
LB Joe Ostman – Concussion
S K'Von Wallace – Groin
• Week to Week
LB Davion Taylor – Calf
• Month to Month
TE Tyree Jackson – Back