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Nick Sirianni says Jalen Hurts is trending in the right direction

Plus, the head coach gave some good news from the running back room.

Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Friday and gave some updates on Jalen Hurts and his potential to play this week, as well as some good news on the running back front. He also endorsed Darius Slay for the Pro Bowl, although noted he can’t actually vote for him.

At the time of his press conference, Sirianni said that they hadn’t heard anything about a postponement, and he wasn’t thinking about the implications of the game being pushed back. In the hours after he spoke, the NFL officially moved the Eagles game to Tuesday night — which also means a shorter turnaround for their Week 16 game against the Giants. The head coach also didn’t want to speculate who might end up playing QB for Washington when they do face off, and was just focused on getting his team prepared regardless of who is on the field.

Here’s what else the head coach had to say:

On Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts was a full participant in Friday’s practice, and while he’s still listed as questionable for this week’s game, he’s trending in the right direction. Sirianni noted that they will always make the best decision for the player and the team, so if Hurts’ plays this week, it’ll be because he’s healthy enough to do so.

Gardner Minshew still took some reps, but Hurts looked good in the workout before practice and got a lot of reps, too. Sirianni also noted that they had a normal, full-speed practice on Friday.

“He was great. He’s, obviously, been in this mentally all week and ready to go all week, you know, preparing like he’s going all week, so I thought he had a great practice today.”

Sirianni acknowledged that the earlier they know whether Hurts will be able to play, the better, but he feels pretty confident about where the QB is right now. It might not always be realistic to know too far ahead of game time, and sometimes you’re at the liberty of the ankle or the player and how he feels. Still, the head coach said he’s excited about what he saw from Hurts at practice and where they are with his progress.

Other injury/roster notes

  • Sirianni confirmed that both Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders are good to go for the game against Washington, and he’s excited to get the back and for them to lead their rushing attack.
  • He wasn’t able to comment on Quez Watkins and whether he thinks the WR will return from the Covid/reserve list for this week’s game, simply saying that Watkins will test and will return when he’s able to. The head coach did point out that even if Watkins is able to return, he hasn’t be able to practice all week, so that’s something they’ll have to factor in, as well.

On Darius Slay’s Pro Bowl potential

The cornerback told reporters on Wednesday that he thinks he’s done enough to earn a spot on the Pro Bowl roster this season — which will be announced on Monday — and Sirianni was emphatic that he agreed.

“Obviously Slay’s ability to play the game, and his ability is off the charts, but what you see that’s common out of most good players is their instincts, and their instincts of how he dissects the game, how a guy’s split comes out, what his release looks like. And so, he’s a student of the game. He’s got great instincts, he’s smart, and obviously he’s got great ability, so that’s a great combination and he’s got my vote for the Pro Bowl.

Now, I can’t vote for our guys, but if I could, I would be voting for him. That doesn’t mean my family members aren’t voting for him online and stuff like that.”

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