So, here’s a bit of an unexpected gut-punch: Jalen Hurts suffered a shoulder sprain during the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 16 win over the Chicago Bears. This much according to multiple reports, including one from NFL insider Adam Schefter.
The good news, if you want to call it that, is that NFL Network is reporting that Hurts’ injury “isn’t considered long term.” But Hurts could miss two of the Eagles’ final three games, according to the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane.
There was some sense that bad news was coming down the pipeline following DraftKings Sportsbook shifting the Eagles-Cowboys spread from Dallas being favored by 1.5 points to being favored by 6 points prior to any announcement. They also shifted the MVP odds back to Patrick Mahomes being favored instead of Hurts. Vegas always knows.
My BGN Radio co-host Jimmy Kempski was first to report that Hurts underwent X-rays following a game where he ran 17 times and took a number of big hits. Reports indicate it was the third quarter play where Trevis Gipson drove him into the ground that caused the injury. Hurts was obviously able to finish the game and lead the Eagles to their 13th victory this season. Kudos to him for toughing it out.
#Eagles run a version of this inside zone run in which the tight end blocks the backside edge defender and Jalen reads the next level defender (and usually hands off as a result). Yesterday they went with much more of this pure read variety with the edge (99) unblocked.— Deniz Selman (@denizselman33) December 19, 2022
It turns out that the Eagles finishing the job against the Bears combined with the Cowboys blowing a 17-point lead to lose was pretty important. The Birds are in a spot where they can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture with just one more win over their final three games.
Though not impossible, beating the Cowboys with Eagles backup quarterback Gardner Minshew will be a tall task. He’s one of the better No. 2 QBs in the league but he’s no Hurts, who has been sensational this season.
It would be ideal if the Eagles can win a game within the next two weeks so that Hurts can rest until Philly’s first playoff game in the divisional round. That much is possible since the Eagles host the New Orleans Saints after playing the Cowboys.
Still, it’s a bummer that Hurts is set to miss time. It takes a lot of juice out of the Dallas matchup, although it will now be hilarious if the Eagles can pull off the upset on Christmas Eve. It likely ends his MVP candidacy. It also raises questions if Hurts will be truly healed and/or prone to re-injury when he does return at some point.
For now, it’s good to know that it could have been way worse and that Hurts is not out for the season. But the Eagles’ road to finish the regular season just got a bit bumpier.
Jeff McLane originally said the injury was to Hurts’ non-throwing shoulder but he corrected himself to say it is indeed his throwing shoulder that is injured.
CORRECTION: It’s Jalen Hurts’ right, throwing shoulder. My bad. https://t.co/woPGUKHs0v— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) December 19, 2022
John Clark says there is “no doubt” Hurts will be ready for the playoffs.
I’m told there is no doubt:— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) December 19, 2022
Jalen Hurts will be ready for the playoffs. I’m told the sprained shoulder is not considered serious.
Jalen’s status for Saturday in Dallas is in doubt.
Source says x-rays were negative. Nothing was broken. An MRI diagnosed a sprained right shoulder pic.twitter.com/FlZhjSIM0o