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Hurts: ‘Everything is a challenge when you have a finger out of place'

The Eagles' QB wore a glove on his right hand at practice

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It was painful to watch Jalen Hurts try to play after damaging the middle finger on his right hand Sunday against the Giants.

So you can imagine how painful it was for him to try to play.

Hurts said Thursday it was a mistake for him to return to the game Sunday after he got hurt early in the second quarter with the Giants up 3-0.

“Obviously, leaving that game and attempting to go back in that game probably wasn't physically the best idea,” he said. “Not having much control over the things that I wanted to do.”

Hurts was 6-for-12 for 47 yards before getting hurt on the fifth play of the second quarter when Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke smacked Hurts’ right hand while closing in on Hurts on a blitz.

Hurts threw incomplete to Dallas Goedert on the 4th-and-3 play from near midfield. He played two more series and was ineffective, going 1-for-4 for eight yards and an interception before being replaced by Marcus Mariotta for the final drive before halftime. The Giants won 27-10.

Hurts said before practice Thursday he hadn’t tried to throw a football since he got hurt Sunday in East Rutherford, but he seemed at least somewhat encouraged by the way the injury has responded.

“Time will tell with that,” he said. “I can assure you everything is progressing in the right way.”

Does that mean it’s improving?

“It’s progressing in the right way,” he repeated.

Hurts wore a glove on his right hand at practice Thursday, the first day of the Eagles’ practice week. He didn't throw any real passes during the brief period practice was open to the media, although he was seen throwing a couple short — maybe six- or eight-foot — tosses during a ball-security drill.

“It’s just going out there and giving my best and doing my best,” Hurts said. “I told you it was a day-by-day thing. And getting the preparation in this week, doing everything that I can to lead the guys.”

How much the injury will affect Hurts’ ability to grip the football and deliver it accurately remains to be seen.

But Nick Sirianni pointed out that if it’s a question of toughness and pain tolerance, Hurts will be fine.

“I know that he’s tough and he’ll do everything he can do to play through it,” Sirianni said. “I know how much he can fight through and how much pain he can withstand. Obviously, it will be a challenge.

“But it’s one he can overcome because he’s overcome so many different things throughout his journey.”

How big a challenge?

“I think everything is a challenge when you have a finger out of place,” Hurts said.

This is the third straight year Hurts has been injured going into a playoff game. In 2021, he was dealing with an ankle injury that required surgery when the Eagles faced the Buccaneers in a wild-card game in Tampa, and last year he had a shoulder injury and missed two late-season games.

The injury clearly affected him in Tampa two years ago, but he had a tremendous postseason last year and a record-setting Super Bowl.

Has he learned how to play hurt? Has he learned how to perform at a high level when he’s less than 100 percent?

“I guess we’ll base it off the result,” he said.

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