PHILADELPHIA – There was no question in Jalen Hurts’ mind that he was playing Sunday against the New York Jets.
The Eagles quarterback, however, will be listed as questionable, and a likely game-time decision.
“We still have a little less than 48 hours to let the body heal, so it’s an unknown right now,” said head coach Nick Sirianni on Friday afternoon, flowing the team’s practice.
It was during that practice that it appeared as if Hurts did not finish the stretching drills with teammates.
The practice was only open for a few minutes and that’s all that was viewable, the team stretches, but Hurts seemed to shut down his stretching very quickly.
On Wednesday, the quarterback said he would play.
Now, he may not.
This doesn’t appear to be a competitive advantage situation for the Eagles, something Sirianni has attempted prior to some games this year.
Hurts is a legitimate question mark for this one, which means Gardner Minshew would start his first game as an Eagle.
“I feel confident with either of the guys if they have to go in and play, the way they’ve prepared all week and went about their business,” said Sirianni.
The coach said Hurts got more than half the first-team reps during Wednesday’s walkthrough but couldn’t say how those first-team reps were divided among Hurts and Minshew on Thursday and Friday.
Sirianni said he would let the trainers and doctors make the decision in conjunction with how Hurts feels.
“A lot of parties in play there to make sure we do what’s best for Jalen and his body and obviously the team, but player health is the first and foremost important thing, so there will be a lot of discussion with the trainers, the doctors, and we’ll listen to Jalen on how his body feels,” said the coach.
Hurts’ mobility is a big part of his game and a reason why the Eagles are the No. 1 rushing offense in the league averaging 159.9 yards per game. The QB leads the team in rushing with 695 yards, a 5.7 yards per carry average, and eight rushing touchdowns.
Obviously, the Eagles’ offense would look markedly different with Minshew at the helm.
The Eagles are also banged up at running back.
Jordan Howard will miss his second straight game with a knee injury and Boston Scott did not practice all week due to a non-Covid related illness and is listed as questionable.
Scott has 285 yards on the ground and four TDs.
Miles Sanders also has a gimpy ankle. Sanders will likely start but how long he is able to play is a concern.
Sanders is the team’s second-leading rusher with 458 yards, though he has yet to find the end zone this season.
That leaves the Eagles with rookie Kenny Gainwell as their only healthy running back.
Gainwell has been mostly a third-down back. He has 155 yards on the ground with three scores and 23 catches for 205 yards and one TD.
If Scott cannot play, the Eagles would likely call up Jason Huntley from the practice squad.
“Speed, a lot of speed,” said Sirianni when asked what he has seen from Huntley on the PS this fall. “I think every time he touches that football you can see how much speed he has. He’s been here and I think we do a good job of giving our young guys extra reps to develop.
“I’m confident he’s been in a good room with good coaches and good players who know how to mentally prepare, so yeah, if Jason’s number is called, I’m confident he will be able to step in and do a good job.”
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.