As the Eagles took the practice field on Saturday afternoon, they were without their starting quarterback.
Jalen Hurts missed Saturday’s session with an illness but is fully expected to play against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. Hurts’ absence was considered precautionary as the Eagles hope to avoid the spread of illness throughout the team before a cross-country trip to Seattle.
Defensive end Josh Sweat also missed Saturday’s practice for a personal reason but is also expected to play on Monday night.
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While the Eagles should have Hurts and Sweat against the Seahawks, they are going to be without a few key starters. CB Darius Slay (knee), LB Zach Cunningham (knee) and Cam Jurgens (pectoral) have been ruled out.
Cornerback Darius Slay was ruled out for this game after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee earlier in the week. The Eagles are hoping Slay returns before the end of the regular season and don’t plan on putting him on Injured Reserve. The Eagles have some options at cornerback and will have to choose from Kelee Ringo, Josh Jobe and Eli Ricks to replace Slay during his absence.
The Eagles were also without starting right guard Jurgens (pectoral) and starting linebacker Cunningham (knee) on Saturday. Both players have missed the entire week of practice.
Jurgens on Saturday worked on a side field with trainers. Without Jurgens, the Eagles will start either veteran Sua Opeta or rookie Tyler Steen. Opeta was working with the starters during offensive line drills earlier this week. And Opeta’s experience could play a factor in the decision as the Eagles prepare to play in a loud environment in Seattle on Monday night.
Without Cunningham, the Eagles will rely on Nicholas Morrow and Shaq Leonard as their starting linebackers. The only other off-ball ‘backer on the roster is undrafted rookie Ben VanSumeren.
Safety Reed Blankenship (concussion) is expected to play against the Seahawks after he was forced out of the Cowboys game in the second quarter. The extra day should help him clear the protocol. Blankenship was already a full participant in Friday’s practice.