PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles traded for Gardner Minshew in the summer of 2021 so he’s ready to take over if needed, even if it means starting in perhaps the Eagles’ biggest game of the season against their biggest rival. tough, the Dallas Cowboys.
But the Eagles may have no choice after starter Jalen Hurts, a top MVP contender, suffered a shoulder injury in the Eagles’ 25-20 win over the Eagles on Sunday. Chicago Bears.
Hurts has a sprained shoulder and could miss the final three games of the regular season.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni, who was unavailable on Monday, has a press conference scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
There’s a lot at stake against the Cowboys, likely with Minshew at quarterback. With a win, the Eagles (13-1) can clinch the NFC East Division title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC Playoffs, and the bye week that goes with it.
But the Eagles would still be in good shape for those goals with a loss. That’s because the Eagles lead the Cowboys (10-4) by three games with three games remaining. All it would take is one more Eagles win or one more Cowboys loss.
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In this scenario, the Eagles could let Hurts sit out until their first playoff game on the Jan. 21 weekend.
Minshew has started 22 games in his NFL career, including 20 during his two seasons as a starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 and 2020.
While it would be easy for Eagles fans to dream of a Nick Foles redux with Minshew, the circumstances are very different. In 2017, then-Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz was a top contender for MVP as he led the Eagles to an 11-2 record before tearing his ACL.
Foles, an experienced backup like Minshew, took over and eventually led the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl victory. Foles was the Championship Game MVP, throwing for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns.
But Hurts’ injury is not considered as serious as Wentz’s. There was no broken shoulder in Hurts, and the best cures are rest and rehabilitation.
Hurts apparently suffered the injury midway through the third quarter on a running play that gained six yards. Hurts landed on his right shoulder with the full force of Bears defensive lineman Trevis Gipson.
Hurts momentarily writhed in pain on the floor. He was helped to his feet before the referee could call an injury time out. Hurts then had his best shot of the game in the fourth quarter when he hit receiver AJ Brown on a deep ball 68 yards to the Bears 3-yard line.
Hurts then kicked the ball for his third rushing touchdown of the game, giving the Eagles a 12-point lead.
“He’s going to hurt because of this,” Sirianni said after Sunday’s game. “We’ll be on a short week. He’s tough… I know he took a few big hits, but they were pretty clean hits. He got up and he was ready to go.”
Asked about the move after the game, Hurts said: “It wasn’t the first time I was slow (to get up), it won’t be the last. They are playing a very physical game and it was very cold Also. “
Hurts completed 22 of 37 passes for 315 yards. He threw two interceptions in the first half, the most he’s thrown in a game this season.
Hurts has thrown for 3,472 yards, completing 67.3% of his passes, with 22 touchdowns and 5 interceptions this season. He is fourth in the NFL in passer rating at 104.6. Hurts also rushed for 747 yards and 13 touchdowns. His 35 combined touchdowns this season are tied with Randall Cunningham for the most in team history. Cunningham did it in 1990.
In 2021, Minshew started two games in place of Hurts, one of them a critical season-ending game for the Eagles, who needed a win over the Jets to improve their playoff chances. Hurts had sprained his ankle the previous week in a loss to the Giants.
Minshew completed 20 of 25 passes for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns that day as the Eagles won 33-18. After the match, Minshew asked Sirianni if he could stay as the starter, but Sirianni told him he was staying with Hurts.
The Eagles had their bye the following week, and Hurts returned after that. Minshew started another game that season, the season finale against Dallas. This game made no sense as the Eagles had already clinched a playoff berth, allowing them to rest Hurts.
Minshew went 19 for 33 for 186 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception in the Eagles’ 51-26 loss.
Last summer, Minshew said he understood his role with the Eagles.
“All I want is to get better, man,” Minshew said in August. “In my head, I’ve proven to myself that I can play in this league. That’s all that matters. I know that if I keep improving I have a chance of having a really good career in this league. league.”
Minshew has played three games this season, all behind in blowout wins for the Eagles. He threw 4 passes, completing 2, for 34 yards.
And he’ll probably get that chance to prove himself again.
Contact Martin Frank at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.
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