Eagles Insider

Time for the Eagles to spring Jalen Hurts on the NFL

Eagles Insider

They activated him, they promoted him to No. 2 QB and they got him onto the field.

Jalen Hurts played his first three NFL snaps Sunday, and as Dave Zangaro wrote, he made an impact as a decoy, even though he never touched the football.

The next step for Hurts has to be the most significant one yet.

Use him.

Hurts, the rookie 2nd-round pick, is an intriguing guy with explosive ability as a passer and a runner, and if you hadn't noticed, the Eagles’ offense could use a little explosion right about now.

Normally, I wouldn’t get too worked up about a guy like Hurts sitting on the bench, learning as much as possible, waiting his turn.

The last thing you want to do is take the football out of Carson Wentz’s hands at a pivotal point of a game and put it the hands of an exciting but untested rookie.

Except lately, taking the ball out of Wentz’s hands and putting it in the hands of an exciting but untested rookie seems like a pretty good idea.

Wentz has been terrible, and while it’s too early to start speculating about benching Wentz - he does have a tremendous track record and deserves a chance to work his way out of this - there’s nothing wrong with getting a fast, strong, gifted young rookie involved.

For starters, the more Hurts plays, the more he does, the more defenses will have to prepare for him. And the more you give defenses to worry about, the better off you are. Right now, defenses don’t have a ton to worry about when they’re preparing for this sputtering Eagles offense.


But it’s more than that. Hurts can help.

With Wentz slumping, Jalen Reagor out now for a while and Alshon Jeffery getting closer but still sidelined, this offense doesn’t have enough weapons. When you have a guy on the bench who can do what Hurts can do, you have to get him involved.

This is a guy who threw 57 TDs and 11 interceptions playing at the highest level of college football the last three years and ran for 1,298 yards with a 5.6 average last year.

There’s a reason Hurts finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting last year behind Joe Burrow, who starts for the Bengals at the Linc on Sunday. We saw in training camp just how dangerous he can be.

This isn’t the time to worry about egos. This isn’t the time to worry about Carson’s feelings.

This is the time to get your best players on the field, and the Eagles wouldn’t have made Hurts the 53rd player taken in the draft if they weren’t intrigued by his unique skill set.

When Doug Pederson was the Eagles’ starting quarterback in 1999, Andy Reid used to give rookie Donovan McNabb a series here and there, just to get his feet wet, get him used to playing NFL football, give defenses an extra dimension to worry about.

The circumstances are different - Pederson was simply a placeholder until McNabb was ready. Wentz is still the Eagles’ long-term answer at quarterback. I think.

But Hurts is clearly ahead of where the Eagles thought he’d be. That’s why Nate Sudfeld’s hold on the No. 2 QB job ended last week.

Giving Hurts a taste of NFL football, even if it comes at the expense of Wentz for a few plays or a series or two, will not only accelerate Hurts’ learning process, it’ll give this offense a desperately needed shot of energy and excitement.

Give him some runs. Give him some throws. Heck, throw it to him.

The Eagles have scored two touchdowns on their last 21 drives and the offense is ranked 27th in points and 28th in yards two miserable weeks into the season.

The season is hanging in the balance, and you have one of the most exciting players college football has ever seen sitting on the bench.

It’s time to spring Hurts on the NFL. It’s time to get him involved as more than a decoy. It’s time for the Jalen Hurts Era to begin, and considering where this team is right now, there’s absolutely nothing to lose.