Eagles Insider

Hurts' performance vs. Steelers will determine playing time in preseason opener

Eagles Insider

There’s no way to tell how much playing time Jalen Hurts will get Thursday night.

Because it will depend on how he plays.

The Eagles face the Steelers at 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday at the Linc in their first preseason game since the summer of 2019. It will be the first lifetime preseason game for 43 Eagles, including Hurts.

Nick Sirianni spoke before practice Tuesday and said Hurts and the first-team offense will start the game. But he wasn’t ready to say whether they’ll just play a series or two or more. 

“We’re still talking through that every day,” he said. “Everybody’s in a little bit different scenario, so for me to say, ‘Hey, the starters are playing this many [reps],’ we’ve discussed everybody and everybody has their own little scenario that they’re doing. So expect everybody to play, for the most part.”

Sirianni said if Hurts and the starting group have immediate success, he would tend to get them off the field, but if they struggle, he would lean toward letting them play more to try to put together something positive.

“That’s why I don’t want to tell you guys, ‘This is how many series,’” he said. “Because if we go out and have a seven-play [touchdown] drive, then we reevaluate, just like we do in a game. If we go 3-and-out, then we reevaluate. Everything is on a sliding scale. … I don’t want to tell you, ‘This is our plan,’ because that could change. Things change every single day.”

 

Sirianni did say he anticipates all three quarterbacks — Hurts, Joe Flacco and Nick Mullens — to play.

The Eagles play three preseason games this year, but he hinted that because the Eagles have two sets of joint practices — the Patriots next week and the Jets the following week — he might be less inclined to play the starters deep into preseason games.

“We have the joint practices, and they count like preseason games,” he said.  

Whatever happens Thursday night against the Steelers, Aug. 19 against the Patriots or Aug. 27 against the Jets, Sirianni said the offense will be vanilla. So don’t expect to really see what his offense is all about until the opener in Atlanta on Sept. 12.

“One of the things that we have to our advantage is that nobody really knows what we’re running,” he said. “To say we’re going to show everything on Thursday or the following preseason games? That’s just not going to be the case. That’s an advantage that we have that other staffs don’t because we don’t have any tape out there of us.”

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