Philadelphia Eagles News

What's the latest on Jalen Hurts, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, and Josh Sweat?

Nick Sirianni
Nick Sirianni

Head Coach Nick Sirianni met the media Monday for his normal day-after teleconference and the No. 1 topic, of course, was the quarterback position. Who plays quarterback for the Eagles on Sunday in the 4:25 PM regular-season finale against the New York Giants?

The message hasn't changed from the head coach.

When Jalen Hurts is given clearance by the medical staff to play and is given the green light, he will do so.

Sirianni expanded on the progress Hurts has made recovering from the right shoulder injury he suffered in the win at Chicago and he updated the progress made by safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who has been out since suffering a lacerated kidney in the win over Green Bay.

"They're both getting better every day because they work hard at it," Sirianni said. "They work their butts off to do what they can do. Chauncey is a little bit harder to do anything much in there because it's his body healing. Jalen has done the rehab. He's always working and I know they are getting better each day as far as what they've done because of who they are and how they're rehabbing, how our trainers and our doctors and our strength coaches help them out because we have top-notch guys right there. They're all a little bit better than they were even yesterday.

"Obviously, we're waiting to see how they feel throughout the week to see what their status will be for this week. Chauncey, as far as what he's been able to do, you have to rest that. That's not something you can be there and do a lot with. These last two weeks, he has been able to ramp it up. When it is time for him to go, he'll be ready to go physically, not just the injury healed, I'm saying, but physically be ready to go. He's worked really hard at that the last couple of weeks, but he did have to take it easy early on because that was part of the healing process for him."

When Hurts is cleared to play, Sirianni expects him to be ready to go, to play as Jalen Hurts plays.

"First and foremost, we're always going to want him to be healthy enough to not put himself at danger. That's first and foremost," Sirianni said, "but also so that he can perform at a high level. When you're talking about throwing the football and an injured shoulder, it's a little different than other injuries. He's got to be able to throw the ball down the field. He's got to be able to throw it accurately. He's got to be able to throw it with velocity, so that he can be effective as a quarterback."

Hurts returned to practice last week and participated during individual and positional drills, but did not take any reps in the team portion of practice, representing progress in his recovery. A next step would be for Hurts to take No. 1 quarterback reps in the 11-on-11 part of practice.

There is promising news with defensive end Josh Sweat, who was injured early in Sunday's game when he suffered a neck injury and was carted off the field on a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital for observation. Sweat was released from the hospital and posted on social media that he would return this season.

Sirianni expressed relief that Sweat was OK after such a frightening incident.

"We'll take Josh one day at a time," Sirianni said. "I'm just really thankful that it wasn't more serious there and I know everybody in that stadium was holding their breath because anytime that stretcher comes out, that's tough to deal with. Josh was saying, 'Hey, let me get up. I can get up.' The doctors in that scenario have to make sure they go through all the right scenarios. I felt a little more at ease because of what Josh was saying out there."

Sirianni also accepted accountability for the late-game interception thrown by quarterback Gardner Minshew in Sunday's 20-10 loss to New Orleans that Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore intercepted and returned 12 yards for a touchdown to provide the final score, saying the offense used the same formation and play from earlier in the game and the New Orleans defense recognized the formation and the route wide receiver A.J. Brown ran.

"The responsibility on that play, again I'll just go back to my own. We were in a three-by-one (three receivers to one side, one receiver on the other side) formation, we shifted the guy up to the line of scrimmage onto the right side, putting us in a four-by-one, that is a very recognizable formation. A good corner made a play with a smart safety on the other side with 32 (Tyrann Mathieu) and 23 (Lattimore) over there, they recognized it. Dennis Allen is a good coach and he recognized it and made an adjustment and they made a play ... That's my responsibility and that's why they got the interception."

The Eagles play the Giants on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field with a chance to clinch the No. 1 seed in the conference playoffs with a win or a tie against New York.

"We just want to go out there and play a good game, obviously, this next game and play to our abilities, coach to our abilities," Sirianni said.

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