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Gardner Minshew Expected to Start vs. Jets

Jalen Hurts' sprained left ankle will likely keep him out at MetLife Stadium on Sunday

PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles have been preparing like Gardner Minshew will be the starter at quarterback on Sunday against the New York Jets, and that will be the case according to veteran Eagles reporter Derrick Gunn.

Jalen Hurts’s sprained left ankle, which he injured while being sacked during the fourth quarter of a 13-7 loss to the Giants last week, has been limiting him at practice all week and that continued at a walkthrough on Saturday.

A day earlier Hurts skipped some stretching drills that put too much stress on the ankle.

Minshew, a former starter in Jacksonville who was elevated to the No. 2 role when the Eagles dealt veteran Joe Flacco to the Jets back in October, got significant first-team reps during practices for the first time since he was acquired on Aug. 28.

Hurts spoke to the media on Wednesday, his typical schedule, and said he planned on playing against the Jets.

“It’s fine, I’ll be ready to go,” the QB1 claimed.

In hindsight, that could have been a young player trying to will himself to the finish line far too early because the situation became cloudier as the week went on.

"We still got time to make that decision," head coach Nick Sirianni said on Friday. "Jalen is questionable, but we still have 48 – a little less than 48 hours to let the body heal, see what's going on even a little bit more. So, it's an unknown right now."

Sirianni did admit the injury was slowing Hurts down in practice, however, and prep work was being divided up with Minshew.

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"I don't know exactly what the count was on it, but like I said, I'm confident that because of the walk-throughs – you get so many reps in walk-through," said the coach. "That first day, that Wednesday, I think as an offense we got 125 walk-through reps. And so, Jalen [Hurts] got more than half of those ones and then I don't know the exact count with the guys

"Again, I feel confident that both of them will be ready to go when either of their numbers are called."

The shift from Hurts, the best running QB in the NFL not named Lamar Jackson, and Minshew, a signal-caller with functional mobility, will change some things with the offense.

“You know what your backup likes, and you know what he does well,” Sirianni said. “I don't want to say it's different game plans. It's different styles a little bit because you tweak everything for each individual player. But we're playing a certain style of defense, so there will be some similarities regardless of who's playing quarterback.”

What the backup likes, in this case, is the intermediate passing game so perhaps this could turn into a more Dallas Goedert-centric offense with Minshew in the mix.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Eagles still want to see Hurts on the MetLife Stadium turf Sunday morning before putting the period on their decision but the prep over the past two days has skewed heavily toward Minshew.

John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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