FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Jalen Hurts returned to practice on Sunday and was on the field and playing well on Tuesday as the Eagles opened their joint practices against the New York Jets at their facility, following a stomach illness that held him out of last Thursday's preseason matchup with the New England Patriots.
"I'm good now," Hurts said. "I was hurting for sure. I was hurting. Sometimes, I truthfully tell the (team) if I have a problem and sometimes I don't and I was debating on if I wanted to say something on it or not. I said something with the intention of still playing. The signs were telling me, 'Let's be smart about this.' I'm thankful for the (medical) staff and the decision that they made. I'm here now practicing against the Jets and I'm good."
Hurts and the offense took reps on Tuesday for nearly two hours in 90-degree temperatures against the Jets' defense and looked just fine. He continued to make improvements in every phase of his game – decision-making, accuracy, release, etc. – and said he would follow the lead of the coaching staff on whether or not he will play on Friday night at MetLife Stadium. What's important, Hurts said, is how he has been attacking every day of practice, how he has learned from his mistakes, and how he and the offense "are taking that step every day. I'm happy we took that step today. We got better today. We're a better football team than we were yesterday. I think it was a solid day today. I think it was a really good day."
Hurts has worked steadily with his young receivers on building chemistry and timing and, more than anything else, confidence in each other. That hasn't seemed to be an issue as Hurts and the youth at wide receiver has meshed nicely since the Eagles opened their on-field work in the spring.
"They're big-time playmakers. They're fast, they can catch the ball well and they're taking steps every day," Hurts said. "They're growing, they're learning, like myself and it's good to see and I'm happy to be a part of that with them. I'm excited for them all."
Hurts tags himself on social media as "untamed" and "rare breed," something he started in college that carries to this day. He is on a quest to be the best version of Jalen Hurts, taking it one day at a time and focusing on making positive strides. The goal is to be ready for Atlanta on September 12 and Hurts thinks he is heading in the right direction.
"We're all making strides every day," he said. "That's the goal."