Third-year Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts suffered a sprained shoulder in a Week 15, which sidelined him for the next two games.
Hurts was able to tough it out in the regular-season finale against the Giants to help his team clinch the top seed in the NFC. Philly did not have to play this past weekend in the wild-card round of the playoffs because the No. 1 seed is entitled to a bye week.
The week off was much needed for Hurts has he continues to heal from the injury. But the MVP candidate did not seem worried about if his right shoulder would be targeted on Saturday during the divisional round playoff matchup.
“It’s football. I’ve got a bounty on me every week I go out there on the field,” Hurts told reporters during a meeting session on Tuesday. “So, I’m going to go out there and just play my game, and whatever happens, happens.”
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said Hurts is in a better place from a health standpoint than he was two weeks ago. Sirianni also noted that Hurts would be a “full go” in the team’s walk-through practice on Tuesday.
“He’s better today than he was two weeks ago,” Sirianni said. “He’s continuing to get better and he feels good. I’ll let him tell you how he feels. But looking forward to seeing him go out there and practice today and go through everything today.”
Hurts was not listed on the Eagles injury report on Tuesday ahead of pivotal playoff game against the Giants. “I’m feeling good,” Hurts confirmed.
But, Hurts is not expected to 100% healthy when the game kicks off at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday. Hurts’ teammate, offensive lineman Jordan Mailata quickly backed up his quarterback saying that it is his job to protect the signal caller.
“If he’s got a bounty, I’ve got a bounty,” left tackle Mailata said. “It’s my job to make sure that bounty isn’t claimed and do everything I can to execute the right technique and the right plays and make sure he stays clean and I stay dirty.”
Hurts racked up the fourth most rushing yards by a quarterback in the NFL this season with 760 yards. The Eagles went 14-1 in games the Hurts started this season and each of those contests usually featured several quarterback designed runs.
He only carried the ball nine times for 13 yards in the Week 18 contest.
This time around, Hurts will likely have to strike a balance between protecting himself and being more active with his legs to keep the Giants honest, as he did in the Dec. 11 matchup between these two teams — a 48-22 Philadelphia victory.
Now, with a trip to the NFC Championship game on the line, Hurts will likely have to find the balance between protecting his shoulder and using his running prowess to put pressure on the opposing team.
“We know we’re playing a really good team; they have a really good defense, and they do a lot of really good things — that’s on both sides of the ball,” Hurts said.