Philadelphia Eagles News

Spadaro: Will Jalen Hurts play against the Cowboys? Don't rule it out

Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro
Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro

Who is playing quarterback for the Eagles on Saturday at the Dallas Cowboys? Sounds like, at this point, it's very much up in the air. Both Head Coach Nick Sirianni and quarterback Jalen Hurts allowed for the possibility that Hurts, who suffered a sprained shoulder in Sunday's win over the Chicago Bears, would still be able to play in the NFC East showdown against the Cowboys.

That said, there is also the possibility that he won't play.

See? It's very much up in the air, and that's the honest-to-goodness truth.

"I'm never going to put a timetable on anybody and I'm not going to put a timetable on him. He's got a sprained shoulder," Sirianni said of the injury Hurts suffered in the third quarter of the 25-20 win over the Bears, "and I do not put it past Jalen Hurts – I don't put anything past Jalen Hurts – as far as his mental and physical toughness. There's a chance he could (play) this week. He is one of the toughest guys I know and he heals fast. He's a freak. His body is not like yours or mine. He heals fast. He came back fast from his injury (ankle injury) last year and I will not rule him out, will not put a timetable on him and we'll see.

"We'll see this week."

The Eagles held a walkthrough practice on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex, so there wasn't much to read into in that respect, especially with Minshew out of town giving the eulogy at the funeral of his former college head coach at Washington State, Mike Leach, who passed away last week after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. The team will practice on Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex.

Who will take the first-team reps for the offense? The truth is, that is very much of an unknown, certainly in the mind of Hurts, who says he can throw the football and is determined to rehab the injury vigorously.

"I'm feeling fine. I'm feeling fine," Hurts said at his Tuesday press conference. "It's a week where we're keeping everything business as usual. I know 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."

Does Hurts think he has a chance to play on Saturday?

"Definitely a chance," he said. "I'm taking it day by day, though. Everybody knows that I'm dealing with something. That's pretty public. It's out there. I'm not one to really talk about myself. Obviously, being quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, you can't run from that, but I'm taking everything one day at a time with it, preparing versus a really good defense."

Hurts said he "knew when it happened" that his injury was something he would have to deal with, but he stayed in the game and still was extremely effective against the Bears, completing 7 of 10 passes for 110 yards – including a 68-yard deep pass to wide receiver A.J. Brown – and also rushing 4 times for 11 yards and a touchdown (adding two kneeldowns to end the game). Moving forward, it's a "day-by-day thing," said Hurts.

"Ultimately, I want to do what's best for the team," Hurts said. "It's a thing where you take it one day at a time. I think the best thing for me is being ready to play and being of best health."

Nothing, then, is clear-cut. The Eagles will make sure that all three quarterbacks, including Ian Book, are ready to play against a Dallas defense that has a terrific pass rush and that thrives on taking the football away on the back end. The Eagles gained just 268 total net yards in the first meeting between the teams in October, their second-lowest offensive output of the season.

In the meantime, Hurts will do everything he can to be cleared from a health standpoint for Saturday. If not, it will be Minshew's show, with Book as the No. 2 with the Eagles just one win away from clinching the NFC East and the No. 1 seed in the conference playoffs.

That part is crystal clear. The part where we actually know who the quarterback will be on Saturday?

Not so clear.

"It'll be more about the healing with Jalen than it will be about the pain," Sirianni said, "because he can play through anything."

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