After Monday night’s win over the Buccaneers, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts said he played through flu-like symptoms. Hurts, however, had not been listed as having an illness on the various injury reports filed by the team before the game.
The situation demonstrates another area of inside information that could be, in theory, mishandled by those hoping to place legal wagers on a given game.
We asked the NFL whether Hurts or any other Eagles players who were under the weather should have been disclosed as having an illness.
“Unless the players missed practice or were limited in any way, they would not need to be listed on the injury report,” chief NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email.
That’s what happened with one Eagles player. Safety Terrell Edmunds did not practice on Thursday or Friday with an illness. He was disclosed on each injury report issued last week as having an illness.
This approach exposes a subtle but tangible difference between injuries and illnesses. When a player has an injury, it gets disclosed even if he fully participates in practice all week. When a player has an illness, it is not required to be disclosed unless the player has been limited in some way.
And for an illness that arises or becomes exacerbated on game day, McCarthy said that the team must update its injury report only "[i]f a player’s illness causes the club to decide that a player will not start or will not play.”
In other words, if a player is under 100 percent due to an illness (and Hurts apparently was), the team need not say anything unless he won’t start or won’t play.
The bottom line is that the teams have a blank check to hide illnesses that don’t limit a player’s ability to participate in practice or keep him from starting or playing. Which makes those illnesses inside information that could be misappropriated by those looking to profit from it.
Of course, if anyone tried to parlay that information into betting on the Bucs to win or to cover the spread, those wagers would have lost. But Hurts finished under his rushing total of 43; if someone knew he was secretly ill and used that information to bet he wouldn’t run as much as projected, that information provided a very real benefit.
With so many unresolved questions about the manner in which a wide variety of inside information is handled, the less inside information the better. So why not require any player who has an illness to be disclosed as having an illness?
It seems like a simple fix that would wall off one of the various ways that the league could eventually be stung by the use of inside information by those who have access to it, whether it’s a player, a member of the coaching staff, a member of the training staff, a member of the medical staff, or anyone else who happens to know a specific truth that is not available to the public at large.
In a world of illegal gambling, it doesn’t matter. In a nation that has embraced legalized sports betting programs one state at a time, it becomes “material, non-public information” that should be guarded in the same way that corporations protect facts that could influence the buying and selling of public shares of stock.
As to player illnesses, the NFL should just require the information to be disclosed.
The Eagles have perfected the QB push play, which continues to be perfectly legal. It ceases to be a legal play when the push becomes a pull.
There’s a reason for mentioning that. Last night, when the Eagles lined up in their trademark formation near the Tampa Bay end zone on third and goal, the effort by Jalen Hurts to score six points included not a push from tight end Dallas Goedert but an effort to pull him across the white stripe. Goedert did it again on fourth down, but it wasn’t as obvious.
“I was yanking him for sure,” Goedert admitted after the game, via Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press. “They say you can’t pull, but I was behind him.”
Goedert was indeed behind Hurts, but Goedert was not pushing. He was, as he put it, “yanking.” He was pulling. He slipped his arms under Hurts’s arms and tried to lift him in.
It’s not classic pulling, but it’s far closer to a pull than a push. And once it becomes a pull, it becomes an illegal play.
Chances are the push eventually will become an illegal play. With only the Eagles perfecting it, it seems like a no-brainer that at least 24 teams would come together and wipe it out.
Still, even without the pushing, the Eagles have the right players to gain yardage consistently via a traditional sneak, thanks to a great offensive line and a quarterback who knows how to slip through cracks and/or shove his way in.
Fans of Manchester United have wanted the Glazers out from the day they got in. On Monday night, supporters of the Premier League soccer club took their fight to the skies about the stadium where the Glazers’ football team plays.
Via ESPN.com, a “Glazers out” banner flew over Raymond James Stadium before the game between the Eagles and the Buccaneers. The effort was organized by Manchester United fans in Tampa and Pittsburgh.
Last November, the Glazers announced that they will be considering “all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions.” Many supporters of the team want the Glazers to sell their full interest in the team.
Bids have been made, but the Glazers have yet to make any decisions.
Any concerns about whether the Eagles defense could remain strong after an offseason change in coordinators have been put at ease in the 2023 season.
The Eagles forced six turnovers while winning their first two games and they stepped things up even more on Monday night. The Eagles held the Bucs to 174 yards and of offense and had two more takeaways in a 25-11 win that moved them to 3-0 on the year.
One of the takeaways came on a forced fumble by first-round pick Jalen Carter just before halftime and led to a field goal. The defensive tackle also jarred the ball away from Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield on a sack one play before the turnover. The Bucs recovered that ball, but neither Carter nor anyone else on the Eagles defense would be denied.
“This defense is awesome,” Carter said, via Ed Kracz of SI.com. “I love this defense. Everybody trusts one another, plays their roles, and does what they have to do. When one goes down it’s the next man up and we don’t worry about who it is, we trust him as much as the guy who started the game. I love this defense.”
Carter’s contributions came in front of a lot of family and friends. He said in his postgame media session that a large group came about 100 miles from his hometown of Apopka, Florida to Tampa to see him continue the impressive start to his NFL career. Neither they nor anyone else pulling for the Eagles were disappointed in what they saw.
Multiple Eagles players, including quarterback Jalen Hurts and center Jason Kelce, said after Monday night’s win in Tampa Bay that they had been playing through an illness.
The illness was described as flu-like symptoms. It is unclear whether the players were tested for covid.
Hurts said he has played in prime time while feeling sick before and just needed to focus on execution.
“It’s not the first time I’ve dealt with this or had to play with something like this. And it always happens on Monday night for whatever reason,” Hurts said, via ESPN.
Kelce said other Eagles were feeling sick as well.
“It feels like everyone in the world is right now. It’s kind of ramping up again. We had a lot of guys on the team this week . . . it’s kind of maybe that time of year right now in Philly,” Kelce said.
The Eagles will have a short week to get ready to face the Commanders in Philadelphia on Sunday.