When the Philadelphia Eagles take the field on Sunday and attempt to lock down the No. 1 seed in the NFC, it appears they will have their starting quarterback back in the lineup. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters on Friday morning that it looks like Jalen Hurts will be ready to play against the New York Giants in Week 18.
"It's trending in the right direction," Sirianni said on Hurts being available against the Giants. "We'll see how today goes."
Hurts has been out since suffering a shoulder injury during the team's Week 15 victory over the Chicago Bears. He missed the Week 16 loss to the Cowboys as well as the Week 17 loss to the Saints due to the injury, and was replaced in the lineup by backup Gardner Minshew.
In Hurts' absence, Minshew led the offense to 34 points against Dallas (though six of those points came courtesy of a pick-six) but just 10 points against New Orleans. He completed 42 of 72 passes for 629 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions, while also rushing five times for five yards and an additional score.
Prior to his injury, Hurts was an inner-circle MVP candidate, along with Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow and Josh Allen. In his third NFL season, Hurts has gone 13-1 as a starter while completing 67.3% of his passes for 3,472 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions, while adding 747 yards and 13 scores on 156 rush attempts. He ranks third in the NFL in QBR and ninth in expected points added per dropback, and has played a significant role in the Eagles building one of the NFL's most diverse rushing attacks as well.
All Philadelphia needs to do in Week 18 is defeat the Giants, and it will clinch the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Having Hurts back in the fold is a major step toward doing just that -- especially considering the Giants are likely to rest multiple starters for a game that will not affect their playoff standing.