Jalen Hurts was back at practice on Sunday evening but the Eagles still aren’t sure whether or not the 23-year-old starting quarterback will play in the preseason finale against the Jets on Friday night.
Hurts was a late scratch against the Patriots because of an illness that forced him to take a trip to the hospital on Thursday. Hurts appears to have recovered completely from the stomach infection. He spent the last few days resting and looked good on the field Sunday.
If he doesn’t play on Friday, that illness won’t be the reason.
Head coach Nick Sirianni said the Eagles are still going to wait until after two upcoming joint practices with the Jets before making a decision about Hurts’ playing status for the third and final preseason game of 2021.
“That's something we're going to continue to evaluate,” Sirianni said. “Again, like I said for the past couple games, I’d hate to give you an answer and then it not play out, so that's something that is under constant evaluation. We are going to see how the work goes against the Jets and make a decision after that.”
The Eagles travel to North Jersey on Monday before practicing against the Jets on Tuesday and Wednesday.
If Hurts does not play on Friday night, that means he will end up playing a total of 10 snaps all preseason. Hurts started the first preseason game against the Steelers and got just two series before he was pulled with the rest of the Eagles’ starters. This is a second-year quarterback with just four career NFL starts on his resume.
So are 10 preseason snaps enough? It’s a fair question.
On one hand, there’s a reason the Eagles are having two rounds of joint practices. You can easily make an argument that those joint practices are more valuable than preseason games because they’re controllable and coaches don’t have to keep their play calls completely vanilla.
But on the other hand, there’s something to be said for live game action when there’s real tackling. No, the Eagles don’t want to see Hurts take any hits but the threat of getting hit, especially for a mobile quarterback, is important for timing. And as great as these practices are … they’re still not games.
While Sirianni remains non-committal about Hurts’ playing status for Friday, the fact that he continues to talk up joint practices seems to hint that Hurts will either sit out Friday’s game or play very minimally.
Here’s what Sirianni said on Thursday about joint practices:
“I’ve said before, those are like games. Those intersquad practices are like games, so he is going to be able to get two more there. I'm pretty confident that we'll get a lot of good work against the Jets.”
And that might be it against other teams util Week 1.
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