PHILADELPHIA — Eagles coach Nick Sirianni did not commit to a starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, leaving it open as to whether Jalen Hurts or Gardner Minshew would get the nod in a game that could clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs for Philadelphia.
“We’re still sorting through that,” Sirianni said. “Obviously, Jalen had a good practice [Thursday] and looked like he did some things really well. … Still haven’t decided anything yet. We’ve still got a couple days.”
Sirianni said Hurts’ health is taken into consideration first. Hurts has been listed as doubtful for Sunday.
The decision to list Hurts as doubtful, and thereby all but eliminating his chances of playing Sunday, came down to a health and safety issue, a source said. The functionality in Hurts’ right shoulder has progressed to a point where the team expects him back on the field sooner rather than later, the source added, but it wanted to give him at least one more week of rest to ensure the injury doesn’t linger.
Hurts took part in practice Thursday — the first time he had been seen on the field since injuring his throwing shoulder against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 18. He participated in individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media, throwing a number of short and intermediate passes.
“The velocity of the ball was good, the accuracy was good, that he felt good,” Sirianni said of his performance. “Those are the main things, and that’s what you want to see.”
Hurts was officially listed as a limited participant.
The 13-2 Eagles host the 6-9 Saints on Sunday. Philadelphia can clinch the top seed in the NFC playoffs with a win. If they lose Sunday, playing Hurts in the regular-season finale against the New York Giants has not been ruled out, the source said.
Hurts sat out a ball-security drill in which coaches swing pads and boxing gloves at players as they run by. The other quarterbacks, Minshew and Ian Book, went through that drill.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Hurts is recovering from what doctors are calling an SC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder — an injury to the joint where the collarbone meets the breastbone.
He missed Saturday’s 40-34 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Minshew got the start, going 24-of-40 for 355 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.