Jalen Hurts said there’s “definitely a chance” he’ll be able to play in the Eagles’ game against the Cowboys Saturday.
Hurts got hurt in the third quarter of the Eagles’ win over the Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago and various reports suggested he would miss at least one game before being able to return.
But Hurts as well as coach Nick Sirianni both insist he could be ready for the Eagles' Christmas Eve game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
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“Definitely a chance,” Hurts said Tuesday. “I’m feeling fine, feeling fine. It’s a week where we’re keeping everything business as usual. We’re playing a really good team, a really good opponent and doing everything we can on a short week to be at full health.
“There are a whole bunch of things that go into different decisions that are made, but ultimately I want to do what’s best for the team. It’s a thing where you take it one day at a time and the best thing for me is being ready to play and being of best health.”
Hurts was slow to get up after getting driven to the ground by Bears defensive end Trevis Gipson on a zone-read play late in the third quarter Sunday.
He didn’t miss a snap and in just over a quarter after the injury he was 7-for-10 for 110 yards, including a 68-yarder to A.J. Brown that set up a late 4th-quarter touchdown.
“I had to find a way,” Hurts said. “I had to find a way. And in the end that’s what it’s all about. As a team, as players, as individuals, we all have things that we want to accomplish together and ultimately we want to find a way to get them done.”
Despite throwing two interceptions in Chicago, Hurts has a 104.6 passer rating this year with 22 touchdowns, five interceptions and 67 percent accuracy. He ran for three touchdowns Sunday and has 13 this year, 2nd-most ever by a quarterback.
“I do not put anything past Jalen Hurts as far as his mental and physical toughness, so there’s a chance he can play this week,” Sirianni said. “He’s one of the toughest guys I know, and he heals fast.
“His body is not like yours or mine. His body is not like ours. He heals fast, he came back fast from his injury last year and I will not rule him out or put a timetable on him.”
Hurts missed a late-season game against the Jets last year, and backup Gardner Minshew threw two touchdowns to Dallas Goedert in a 33-18 win in East Rutherford. Hurts returned the following week.
If Hurts is unable to play, Minshew would start in Dallas Saturday. One win or one Cowboys loss the rest of the year gives the Eagles the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff bracket.
“It’s about the healing process,” Sirianni said. “With Jalen, he hurt that in the third quarter, and he was hurting and he had a freaking great 4th quarter, so pain tolerance with this guy I never worry about. He’s an unbelievable competitor, unbelievable toughness. It’ll be more about the healing than the pain because he can play through anything.”
Hurts is one of 13 quarterbacks to start all 14 games so far this year. The only Eagles quarterbacks to start every game in a season since 1970 are Roman Gabriel once, Ron Jaworski six times, Randall Cunningham three times, Donovan McNabb four times and Carson Wentz twice.
“I knew when it happened," Hurts said. "I’m very aware of my body, I’ve always been that way and I try to be mindful of those things and I’m pretty good at overcoming those different things.
“It’s not the first time I’ve had things I’ve had to overcome. Been in these type of situations, it just happens to be public. There’ve been many other things we’ve had to persevere through. There’s always things you really have to overcome.”
If it was up to Hurts, he’d be out there Saturday.
Sirianni knows he has to protect Hurts from himself, and it’s ultimately not his call, either.
“You always have to do what you think is best for them,” Sirianni said. “’Can this injury get any worse? Can he play through this? Can he not do this?’ We have to do the things we need to do to protect them because I know our guys, and I know they’re going to want to play through everything.”
Sirianni said if Hurts is cleared, he’ll be cleared for everything. That means the Eagles won’t reduce his carries or change his approach to the game to protect him.
If he’s on the field, he’ll be running the complete offense.
“We will play him when he’s ready to play,” Sirianni said. “If that’s this week, that’s this week. If it’s next week it’s next week. When Jalen’s ready to play, he’s ready to play all aspects of it. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
“We’ll see what happens this week, but both guys will be ready to go.”