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Gardner Minshew In, Jalen Hurts Out

The backup will make his first start with the Eagles due to a sprained ankle that will sideline Hurts, while RB Boston Scott, who did not practice all week, is expected to play

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Every fan's favorite player will suit up and start for the Eagles on Sunday against the New York Jets.

That would be the backup quarterback, and, in this case, it’s Gardner Minshew.

The former Jacksonville Jaguars QB, acquired by Philadelphia on Aug. 28, for a conditional sixth-round draft pick, will start his first game after Jalen Hurts’ sprained left ankle was deemed not healthy enough to play.

Running back Boston Scott, who did not practice all week due to an illness, is active.

Inactive, in addition Hurts, are RB Jordan Howard, CBs Kary Vincent, Jr., Tay Gowan, and Mac McCain, and DT Marlon Tuipulotu.

Reid Sinnett will serve as Minshew's ackup.

The turf at MetLife Stadium is notoriously poor, so that may have been a factor in sitting Hurts. Also in play could be that the team will finally get its bye week, so there is two weeks between when they play the Jets and when they start their one-and-only two-game homestand of the season with back-to-back visits from Washington and the New York Giants coming out of the bye.

Linebacker Alex Singleton referenced the summer preseason game the Eagles and Jets played that was delayed due to a monsoon that rolled through. The heavy rain made the field bubble in various spots on the playing surface.

“That field isn’t very good,” said Singleton during the week. “We saw in the summer it flooded and bubbled. It’s not everyone’s favorite place to play. It was better last week (when the Eagles played the Giants at MetLife) than I felt it’s been the last two years.

“So, it was better, but a lot of knees and ankles on that field. It’s never good going to a field that has that legacy of what happens.”

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Running back Miles Sanders tweaked an ankle injury on the MetLife floor in last week’s loss to the Giants.

“When you’re older, turf isn’t (good),” said Sanders. “You can ask anybody in the locker room. No one likes to be playing on turf. Everybody prefers grass. It is what it is. Every field doesn’t have grass. You just gotta suck it up and keep playing.”

Minshew’s career record is 7-13, though he has thrown 37 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.

The thing about Minshew is, he wasn’t on the team when the Eagles spent two days practicing with the Jets leading up to the preseason finale, which could be a slight advantage for the Eagles.

Another thing about the backup is that, should he play well, the fan base would want to see him for a second game. That fort of quarterback controversy wouldn’t happen inside the Eagles’ building, though.

Hurts isn’t being benched. He is being sat down due to injury.

When Miles Sanders missed three games on Injured Reserve, and the Eagles’ ground game took off, head coach Nick Sirianni never hesitated in saying Sanders would start after he came off IR.

That would be the same deal with Hurts no matter how well Minshew might play.

Hurts is the team’s leading ground-gainer with 695 yards and eight rushing touchdowns. He has completed 60 percent of his throws with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Three of those picks came in last week’s loss.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.