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Nick Sirianni shuts down Eagles quarterback controversy by backing Jalen Hurts

But the Eagles’ head coach is adamant Hurts will be the starter when he’s ready to get back on the field.

The Philadelphia Eagles got a big win over the Jets on Sunday as they head into their late-season bye, and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters after the game about Jalen Hurts, his injury, and why he’s still the starter when he’s ready to return. He also noted that Gardner Minshew had a good game, their run game is successful because of the offensive line, and Jake Elliott’s consistency makes them comfortable kicking the ball.

Sirianni wouldn’t say specifically what ailed Jeff Stoutland during pre-game that kept him in the locker room for evaluation, but the head coach said he was happy that he was cleared to return just before halftime.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On Jalen Hurts

“He wasn’t healthy enough to play. We thought he was getting better, and we’re just always going to put the player’s health first and foremost, and so he just wasn’t healthy enough to play.”

Sirianni went on to say that of course Hurts wanted to play, but the decision is a collaborative effort between the doctors, trainers, and player, to do what’s best.

He reiterated what he talked about earlier in the week, explaining that they had a revised game plan given Hurts’ potentially being more limited in his ability to run and scramble due to the ankle injury, but they also had some different plans in place should Gardner Minshew be the starter.

When asked if Hurts would be the team’s starting quarterback moving forward, Sirianni was quick to say, “Of course,” and then later elaborated on why.

“I think he’s played good football. I think he’s played really good football. There’s been times that he’s been one of the best in the league with the way he’s moved around, made plays. We look at that quarterback rating and what he’s had there, and so he’s played really good football when he’s in, so when he’s healthy and he’s back, he’ll be our starter.”

The head coach didn’t want to put a timetable on Hurts’ recovery, but didn’t hesitate to admit that he would expect the QB to be back on the field following their Week 14 bye.

Sirianni also talked a bit about Hurts and how he handled the news he wasn’t going to play — obviously disappointed because he’s a competitor but he was great on the sideline and was energetic for his teammates. The head coach said he appreciated the way Hurts went about his business and was supporting his team on Sunday.

Other notables

  • He talked about Gardner Minshew in the passing game and thought the QB had a good game, getting some chunk plays and making some good throws. Their message to Minshew heading into the matchup was to be himself, protect the football, and rely on the supporting cast around him.
  • Sirianni said that while they do want to score touchdowns on every drive, having the consistency of Jake Elliott certainly gives them some comfort as they make their way down the field. He mentioned not having to lay up, and Elliott being pretty automatic at the moment.
  • The head coach also credited the offensive line for the Eagles having a successful run game on Sunday even without the threat of Hurts breaking loose. He also said that Miles Sanders is a dynamic player, so there’s still different elements defenses have to take into account.

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