UPDATE: NFL insider Adam Schefter said “Jalen Hurts very well may be out Sunday due to his sprained ankle [...] but the Eagles want to see how Hurts is feeling on gameday before making any final decisions about the QB’s status.” Though it might be true, this reads like the Eagles weren’t exactly pleased about Hurts’ status being leaked. In any case, it still seems like Gardner Minshew is likely going to be the guy on Sunday afternoon.
Side note: Boston Scott is indeed expected to play, according to ESPN’s Tim McManus.
For the first time in nearly a year (December 6, 2020), the Philadelphia Eagles are set to enter a game without Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback.
Hurts sustained an ankle injury during the Eagles’ Week 12 loss to the New York Giants. He didn’t miss any playing time, however, and he insisted he would still start against the Jets. But Hurts was limited in practice all week and was officially ruled questionable to play on Philly’s final injury report.
One can wonder if the Eagles had concern about Hurts’ mobility (and, thus, effectiveness) being limited due to the ankle. It’s also possible the Eagles wanted to play it extra safe with him ahead of the Week 14 bye; an opportunity to get him two straight weeks of rest despite missing just one game.
One can also wonder if the Eagles have any interest in evaluating Minshew. Hurts hasn’t exactly erased all doubts about him being the franchise quarterback this season. Especially after coming off the worst game of his career last week.
It’ll be interesting to see how Minshew looks. He hasn’t logged extensive regular season playing time since last making a start on December 20 last year. He also didn’t have the benefit of any training camp/preseason reps with the Eagles since Philly traded for him in late August.
Of course, Minshew does have a decent amount of NFL experience under his belt. He’s started 20 games in 24 total appearances. His career passer rating (93.1) is actually higher than Hurts’ mark (82.0).
In theory, at least, Minshew should be able to have success against one of the NFL’s very worst pass defenses. The Jets rank dead last in opponent yards per play and they’re allowing the NFL’s highest average passer rating. (Missed opportunity for Hurts to not be able to take advantage of this favorable matchup.)
And if Minshew does thrive, there could be calls to stick with him down the stretch instead of turning back to Hurts after the bye. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time the Eagles ended up with a quarterback controversy on their hands.
The guess here is that the Eagles will indeed turn back to Hurts when he’s healthy. But we’ll see. In the meantime, it’s Minshew Mania in the Meadowlands this week.
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In non-quarterback news, Gunn reports Boston Scott is a game-time decision. Scott was ruled questionable to play after missing practice this week due to illness. That the Eagles did not elevate Jason Huntley from the practice squad seems to bode well for Scott’s playing chances. If Scott can’t suit up, the Eagles will have just Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell available in the backfield since Jordan Howard is out.
The Eagles officially elevated practice squad safety Jared Mayden to the roster for the second week in a row. More special teams and safety depth.