Hurts a non-participant as new practice week begins

    As the Eagles began their week of preparation for the Saints, quarterback Jalen Hurts was listed as a non-participant in the first injury report of the week.

    While the Eagles held a walkthrough on Wednesday, the injury report is an estimation of availability in a normal practice.

    Not a great sign for his availability this Sunday against the Saints.

    Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was purposely elusive on Wednesday when asked about Hurts’ availability for the upcoming game. He wants New Orleans to be forced to prepare for two quarterbacks as long as possible. The Eagles did this last week in the leadup to the Cowboys game until Hurts was finally ruled out two days ahead of the kickoff.

    Here’s the Eagles’ full injury report from Wednesday:

    Did not practice: Jalen Hurts (shoulder), Lane Johnson (groin), Avonte Maddox (toe), Miles Sanders (knee)

    Limited: A.J. Brown (knee), Jordan Davis (concussion)

    Hurts was not able to practice at all last week either leading up to the Cowboys game.

    While Sirianni said Hurts is feeling better now than he did last week, he didn’t give many other details.

    “Yeah, we’ll see,” Sirianni said about Hurts’ availability this week. “We’ll continue to see how he progresses throughout the week. Does he have a chance? Of course he does, because his body just knows how to heal. He’s a freak. We’ll see what happens as the week progresses.”

    Hurts, 24, suffered a shoulder sprain (reportedly an SC joint sprain) in the Eagles’ Week 15 win over the Bears and missed the game against the Cowboys on Christmas Eve. While the Eagles lost that game 40-34, backup quarterback Gardner Minshew played well and the Eagles picked up 422 yards on offense.


    The offense’s biggest problem in that game against the Cowboys was turnovers. Minshew threw two picks and the Eagles also lost two fumbles. But aside from those crucial mistakes, the Eagles’ offense hummed and didn’t punt once.

    If the Eagles are able to win on Sunday afternoon against the Saints, they would clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC and it would give Hurts’ shoulder a couple extra weeks to heal. Because not only would the Eagles get a first-round bye in the NFC but it would also render Week 18 meaningless for the Eagles’ playoff picture.

    The big surprise on the injury report was the incision of running back Miles Sanders with a knee injury. Sanders has been a big part of the Eagles’ offense this year and is over 1,000 yards. If he can’t play this weekend, the Eagles will have Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell and Trey Sermon.

    Brown’s injury is also a new addition. The injury report didn’t come out until after the Eagles’ walkthrough but Brown was in the locker room on Wednesday beforehand and spoke to reporters.

    We know Johnson and Maddox are both going to miss some time with injuries they suffered in the loss on Saturday. Johnson has a torn tendon in his abdomen and is planning on skipping surgery to return for the playoffs. Maddox has a toe injury and is reportedly out indefinitely.

    The Eagles on Wednesday did not begin C.J. Gardner-Johnson’s practice window. The safety/nickel corner has missed the minimum four games on IR with a lacerated kidney but doesn’t appear ready to return.

    “Just because he’s eligible to return doesn’t mean he will, even though I know he’ll want to,” Sirianni said on Monday. “Again, all the guys will want to, so we’ll see. That will be something that we’re just waiting for some results back when he does get those tests.”

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