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Nick Sirianni says Jason Kelce is “the toughest guy I’ve ever been around”

Plus, the Eagles’ head coach give some updates on Jalen Hurts and other offensive players.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Wednesday and gave some injury updates, as well as talked about how Jalen Hurts’ ankle injury could affect their game planning for both him and backup QB Gardner Minshew. He also talked about Jason Kelce and how impactful seeing the veteran push to get back on the field so adamantly even though he was injured.

Here’s what he had to say:


On Jalen Hurts and his ankle injury

Sirianni said they are really hopeful that Jalen Hurts will be ready to play on Sunday and he’s feeling better everyday, later confirming that it is a sprained ankle he’s dealing with. The QB will, however, be out on the field participating in Wednesday’s walk-through.

“He’s tough. He’s as tough as they get. Obviously, you want that out of your quarterback. So, yeah, I mean, in my mind, he’s playing, right? Again, like I said, we’re hopeful. I think in his and my mind, we’re both saying, ‘Yeah, he’s going.’”

He isn’t sure that Hurts will take every practice rep this week, but whenever he isn’t the one taking the rep, it’ll be Gardner Minshew. The head coach said they do have contingency plans each week in case Minshew has to step up — noting they have these kinds of plans for every player and every position. They don’t necessarily prepare two completely different game plans based on the quarterbacks, but they do consider different styles and skill sets.

Sirianni later talked about how Hurts is handling his performance from Sunday’s loss to the Giants, and acknowledged that the QB is eager to get back on the field and redeem himself. The head coach also emphasized that even if Hurts isn’t 100 percent and maybe isn’t as mobile as usual, they still have confidence in him and their ability to call plays to offset that.

He did have some teaching points for the quarterback coming off a performance that Sirianni said wasn’t up to Hurts’ standard.

“The big thing was obviously taking care of the football. The biggest stat that we look at, again, are explosive plays and turnover differential. Those are the ones that we just really hang our hat on because those are the ones you say the odds are the best that, if you win those two things, you’re going to win the game.

So, the big one, just taking care of the football. Again, there’s different things that happen for quarterbacks of why interceptions happen. The one at the end of the half, obviously, we wanted him not to do that, obviously to take the points there.

Then the first one, though, again interceptions happen for different reasons. That can be blamed on a lot of different things for how that went down. I’m not going to go into it more than that, but you guys will probably know what I’m talking about. But, again, take care of the football. That always starts with him each and every week.”

Other injury updates

  • Miles Sanders is continuing to progress.
  • They still need to find out a little more about Jordan Howard’s injury as the day goes on, but should have more information on his availability on Thursday.
  • Jason Kelce is sitting out of Wednesday’s walk-through but is “doing good” and progressing. Sirianni also talked a bit about what it meant to him and the team that Kelce left for the locker room, but then lobbied to get back in the game as quickly as he could.

“It was unbelievable. My text message to Jason after the game is: You’re the toughest guy I know. We appreciate the heck out of you coming back in. That’s what you want from your leaders, a guy that’s just going to do everything he can do to give of himself to his teammates, and I think that’s the selflessness of Jason Kelce, the toughness of Jason Kelce.

I can’t say enough good things about him. Not only do I think he’s one of the best offensive linemen that I’ve ever been around — and I’ve been around some good offensive linemen — I also think he’s the toughest guy I’ve ever been around.”

[...]

They should do a case study on him to see what makes him this tough. I can’t say enough good things about Jason Kelce. He’s so tough, and our team feeds off that. I think we have a tough team. And why do you have a tough team? You have a tough team because the leadership of the main guys on your team, and it starts with him.