After missing two weeks due to a shoulder sprain, Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts was back at the helm of the record-setting offense in Week 18. They certainly didn’t look as dynamic as we’ve seen earlier in the season, but Hurts acknowledged that they were trying to protect him and his shoulder.
Hurts spoke to reporters following their win over the Giants on Sunday — a win that secured the team the No. 1 overall seed heading into the playoffs in a first-round bye, in addition to being crowned the NFC East Champions.
“We just accomplished a great goal of ours. It’s something we set out to do for us. This year we set out to do that and that’s something we did.
My whole thing moving forward is, let’s prepare to play our best ball. It’s been a great ride this year, but the job isn’t finished.”
Here’s what else the QB had to say:
On his injury and returning to the field
Throughout his postgame interview, Hurts reiterated, “Good enough,” in response to questions about how he was feeling, how he felt back on the field, and how close to 100 percent he was. He also didn’t want to get into the logistics of how the decision for him to play was made, and who was pushing for it.
Hurts was asked is he had any concerns or worries coming back this week.
“I had some things I had to battle in myself. I knew I wanted to be available for my team. It’s really tough being out, let alone taking some losses when you’re out. So, I wanted to be available for my team.
I really feel like if you want something, you gotta do what you gotta do to go get it, and today we did just enough to get that goal. And now, it’s 0-0. We have a new goal in front of us. But, it’s a day-by-day process, like it’s always been and we’ll continue to get better.
I feel like coming into this game, I’ve been pushing myself beyond measure to try and be available, and rather the risk-reward of playing today, whatever that was, we did what we had to do. We’re the No. 1 seed and we’re the NFC East Champs, and that’s the goal we set out to do, and now I can continue to recover and be ready for the playoffs.”
The QB wouldn’t say whether a reward for playing on Sunday was to better prepare him to play in the playoffs, but said that he thinks everything happens for a reason.
“I was pushing myself to be available and it wasn’t an easy thing. It wasn’t an easy thing. It’s still not easy, but we’re here, we’re thankful, and we’re looking forward to what’s to come.”
On the play-calling
Hurts was asked about the coaches trying to protect him with some of the plays that were called. He said some of things were just a product of how the game was going, they got Miles Sanders and Boston Scott going a bit. The QB acknowledged that they could have been more efficient, but gave credit to the Giants defense.
“They definitely made some adjustments from the last time we played them.”
He later explained that the Giants have a really good red-zone defense, and he has no doubts that they’ll learn from some of the issues they had in that area on Sunday. Hurts said they just have to execute their details and plays, and be on the same page.
The QB was asked about the 4th-and-2 miscommunication with the punt team, but Hurts quipped that whether he agrees or disagrees with Nick Sirianni’s call to punt, they won the game, so that’s all that matters.
On being division champs
“It comes through Philly. Job’s not done.”
Hurts later talked about how winning the NFC East as the starter is a huge accomplishment, but admitted he might not recognize the magnitude of the moment just yet.
“I just know that we have so much more out there for us, so I’m eager to get back to work and continue to grow with these guys. I challenge everybody in that locker room to not only hold themselves accountable, but hold the man next to them accountable.”
On what he’s learned
“Just to be thankful and be grateful for the opportunities we have. Obviously, Monday night, we witnessed something that was horrific. Horrific. So, you know, God bless him for being able to recover the way that he has so far, but I mean, I think there’s a ton that we have to truly be grateful for.”