Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni — wearing a “Pave The Lane” shirt — spoke to reporters on Friday and gave a little more insight into whether Jalen Hurts and C.J. Gardner-Johnson might be on the field Sunday. He also talked a bit about Miles Sanders and how he’s handled this week mentally as a good friend to Damar Hamlin.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On Jalen Hurts
“It’s trending in the right direction.”
Sirianni said that they’ll have to see how Friday’s practice goes, but they feel good about it. He acknowledged that not a whole lot will change between now and the game, aside from seeing how Hurts feels after practice, but he doesn’t want to give an answer too early.
“I’m not quite there yet and we’re still thinking through everything.”
The head coach was asked if Hurts has been cleared for contact, but Sirianni said they don’t really use that designation, but rather wait to hear if he’s cleared to play or not. He noted that they’ll talk to the doctors again after Friday’s practice and go from there.
“If he’s ready to play, we’ll play him. It really is as simple as that.”
The QB has done more this week than last as he gets ready to return to the field. Sirianni pointed out that he felt like Hurts threw the ball well last week, but the shoulder has had more time to heal, and so it’s more about what happening internally that’s affecting the decision.
Sirianni also mentioned that they don’t want to put anyone on the field if they’re at risk of re-injuring themselves or making things worse. As for Hurts specifically, the head coach said that he’s pretty savvy in how he goes down and takes hits, so they’ll talk to him about trying to avoid certain things, but they aren’t worried about him over-doing it. Sirianni pointed out, as well, that regardless of whether he has a shoulder injury or not, the QB needs to be smart about how he’s taking hits, and the coaches have to be smart about how they’re calling things.
On C.J. Gardner-Johnson
“He’s doing a good job. Again, we’ll see how today’s practice goes and how everything goes throughout today’s practice, but he’s done a nice job and we’re hopeful. Again, I won’t say he is yet, I’ll see what goes down at practice today, but we’re hopeful there and we’ll see what happens. He’s had a good week of practice, as well.”
On Miles Sanders
It was pointed out that Sanders was still on the injury report with a knee issue, and given his closeness with Damar Hamlin, Sirianni was asked how the running back is doing this week.
“I think Miles has had a good week of mental preparation, and also a good week of practice.”
Sirianni didn’t want to speak for Sanders on how he’s been dealing with Hamlin’s scary situation, but acknowledged he can’t imagine what the RB has been going through mentally being so close to Hamlin. The head coach said that they just tried to be there for Sanders, and he saw the guys in the locker room put their arms around him and give him extra support this week.
“Sometimes when you come in this building, or you go out to the field, there is an escape from some of the things that you might be having to go through. I think the thing that you find out in these moments is just how precious everything is, how precious life is, but then also, when you start to talk to different guys and you’re sharing stories that — like, woah, there’s other guys going through stuff, as well. And that just creates a bond to be close and you have empathy for people that are going through hard things because you know that you’ve been through hard things, or that your teammates been through hard things, or whatever it is.
So, I just saw guys putting their arm around Miles and checking in on him — coaches, players — and I think that at a tough time like that, that’s obviously a big thing for a team to be able to have.”
- Sirianni acknowledged that if you had told him before the season that they would have secured a playoff spot and been competing for the NFC East title, he would have said, “Sign me up.” But then joked that he would have then noted that they are focused on the Lions and going 1-0 — like he does every week.
- As for the team having their first losing streak of the season with back-to-back losses, Sirianni said that he’s seen everyone treat things like business as usual. It’s their Dog Mentality — they’ve dragged themselves through the mud for the mistakes they make, they’ve taken accountability, made corrections, and now are moving forward.