Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who will miss Saturday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys because of a sprained shoulder, also is uncertain to play against the New Orleans Saints in Week 17, league sources told ESPN.
Hurts is recovering from what doctors are calling a SC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder — an injury to the joint where the collarbone meets the breastbone. The Eagles would like to see how this weekend plays out in the NFC playoff race and how Hurts’ shoulder responds to rest and treatment before determining whether the MVP candidate can play against the Saints on New Year’s Day.
The Eagles (13-1) need to win one of their remaining three games — they conclude the schedule with home games against the Saints and Giants — to clinch the NFC’s top seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
If the Eagles can win Saturday in Dallas, they would not need to risk Hurts next week against the Saints. But if they lose Saturday, Hurts will push to play against New Orleans even if he is not fully healthy, as is expected to be the case, according to sources.
Gardner Minshew will replace Hurts as the Eagles’ starting quarterback Saturday against the rival Cowboys. Minshew is in the last year of his contract and is scheduled to be a free agent after this season.
Minshew has performed well in spot duty for the Eagles before, going 20-of-25 and throwing a pair of touchdowns for an injured Hurts last December against the Jets.
The Eagles know how tough Hurts is, and believe he will beat any expected recovery timelines provided by their doctors. Hurts suffered the injury during the third quarter of last Sunday’s victory over the Chicago Bears and still finished the game. He didn’t want to tell anybody he was injured, according to sources.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said this past week that the organization would take it day-by-day in terms of Hurts’ availability against the Saints, emphasizing that Hurts “did everything he possibly could” to get himself physically ready to play in this Saturday’s NFC East showdown.
“He tried like crazy,” Sirianni said. “And I know he still wants to go. Jalen Hurts is the toughest player I’ve ever been around.”
Hurts, 24, has enjoyed a breakout 2022 season, accounting for 35 total touchdowns (22 passing, 13 rushing) to tie Randall Cunningham’s franchise record while passing for 3,472 yards and rushing for 747 yards in 14 games. He has had just five passes intercepted and is completing 67.3% of his attempts.
ESPN’s Tim McManus contributed to this report.