Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni Hints at Jalen Hurts Return for

Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni Hints at Jalen Hurt’s Return for Giants

Nick Sirianni didn’t exactly come out and say Jalen Hurts would be ready to play next weekend.

But he came pretty close.

And if you need some good news after watching the Eagles lose to the Saints on Sunday, then go for it.

It sure sounds like Hurts will return for the regular-season finals against the Giants after missing the last two games with a sore right shoulder.

“He was close this week,” Sirianni said.

Before the Dallas game, Hurts didn’t train at all. Last week he was restricted from training on Thursday and Friday.

So you can see how things are developing. In Sirianni’s two years as head coach of the Eagles, not a single player – even limited – had returned to practice and was unable to play two weeks later.

Is Hurts a castle? nope

Is he somewhere around 95 percent good to go? Yes.

The Eagles could certainly use him.

“Of course we’re going to take it one day at a time,” Sirianni said. “For me to say ‘yes, Jalen is playing’ or ‘no, he isn’t playing’ right now I don’t think it’s fair to anyone because so many things can happen in a week. ”

Hurts’ MVP season was cut short for two weeks when he injured his throwing shoulder late in the third quarter of the Eagles’ win in Chicago on December 18.

The Eagles are now 13-1 with Hurts and 0-2 without him this year.

He has thrown five interceptions in 425 attempts, and Gardner Minshew has thrown three in 76 attempts.

The offense averages 28.9 points per game with Hurts on the field and 18.5 without him.

The Eagles desperately need Hurts back and it looks like they’re going to get him back.

“We have to assess him and see where he is,” Sirianni said. “Nothing changes in this aspect. His health is the #1 priority and doesn’t put him in a position to risk his health. We’ll evaluate that over the course of the week. If he is ready to go, of course he will play.”

When he got injured, it seemed like the Eagles wouldn’t have to play Hurts until the playoffs. But with losses in Dallas and against the Saints, the Eagles have used up their cushion. They now need to beat the Giants at the Linc to earn a first-round bye (or hope for unlikely Cowboys and 49ers losses).

Hurts was among the NFL’s MVP favorites when he was injured.

He leads the NFC with a 104.6 passer rating — that’s the third highest in the NFL — and ranks second with 13 rushing touchdowns. His 67.3 percent accuracy is the fifth highest in the NFL.

He’s already one of only eight quarterbacks in history to win 13 games in a season before his 25th birthday, and a win over the Giants will make him the second to win 14 games.

Despite missing two games, his 35 total TDs — 22 passing, 13 rushing — are the fourth most in the league and most in the NFC. Only Patrick Mahomes (41), Joe Burrow (39) and Josh Allen (39) have more. That 35 total TDs tied with Randall Cunningham in 1990 for the most in Eagles history.

Everything changes when Hurts plays. The Eagles run the ball better, they become unstoppable on 3rd or 4th and 1st, they regain the ability to hit deep.

“Jalen has obviously played very good football all year and is one of our better players,” said Sirianni. “He is a leader of our football team.

“We’ll see what happens here too. Obviously it would be good to have him back just because of the kind of person and the kind of leader he is.”

Most importantly, the type of quarterback he is.