The Philadelphia Eagles will likely be without Jalen Hurts on Saturday vs. the Dallas Cowboys after the QB sustained an injury in Week 15.
News broke Monday that Hurts sprained his shoulder in the Eagles’ 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears. There was concern that Hurts injured his collarbone, which would’ve sidelined him for a longer period of time.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni appeared on WIP this morning and confirmed Hurts’ diagnosis. Sirianni didn’t rule Hurts out for Philadelphia’s Week 16 matchup vs. Dallas, but the third-year QB is expected to miss a few weeks. Sirianni also said Hurts’ injury shouldn’t have a long-term impact.
While the Eagles haven’t clinched the first seed in the playoffs yet, they need to win just one of three remaining games to lock up the spot. With it comes a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
With little at stake against the Cowboys, there’s no reason for the Eagles to risk further injuring the star QB.
Minshew Mania is coming to Big D
Assuming Hurts sits against the Cowboys, backup QB Gardner Minshew would line up under center.
Minshew took the NFL by storm when he started 12 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019. That was Minshew’s rookie year, and he threw for 3,271 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions. Minshew also flashed the ability to scramble, rushing for 344 yards.
Minshew was expected to backup Nick Foles that season, but after QB1 went down with an injury in Week 1, the sixth round draft pick was sprung into action. Minshew played one more season in Jacksonville and has been a backup in Philadelphia the past two years.
With the Eagles, Minshew’s only two starts came in 2021. In the first game, he led the Eagles to a 33-18 win over the New York Jets. Gardner completed 80% of his passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns.
The other start came vs. the Cowboys and didn’t go as well. Minshew had 186 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a 51-26 loss.
Easy win isn’t in store for the Cowboys
Of course, Minshew starting instead of Hurts makes the Eagles offense far less dangerous. Hurts was the favorite to win MVP and in recent weeks, has shown the ability to be as lethal in the passing game as he is with his feet.
But the Cowboys defense has been less than stellar as of late. Much of this is due to injury at key positions.
Dallas is lacking depth at CB after Jourdan Lewis suffered a season-ending injury in Week 6, and Anthony Brown was placed on injured reserve following a Week 13 win.
The Cowboys have also lost some run-stoppers in recent weeks. DT Johnathan Hankins suffered a pectoral injury in Week 14 that will sideline him until the playoffs, and LB Leighton Vander Esch injured his shoulder last week. Mike McCarthy has already ruled Vander Esch out of Saturday’s game vs. the Eagles.
The Cowboys had one of the NFL’s best defenses for most of the season, but the unit has allowed 63 total points in the last two games. Even without Hurts, the Eagles offense has other playmakers that pose a tough matchup for Dallas.