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Report: Eagles' Jalen Hurts Will Push to Play vs. Saints Despite Shoulder Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 25, 2022

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: Quarterback Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on before kickoff against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles remain one win away from clinching the No. 1 seed and first-round bye in the NFC following Saturday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and quarterback Jalen Hurts wants to return to help those efforts.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Hurts, who missed the Cowboys game with a shoulder injury, "wants to play" in the upcoming contest against the New Orleans Saints.

"There's a real chance Jalen Hurts, who is considered day-to-day with this injury, pushes to play," Rapoport reported.

The report also made clear that Philadelphia planned on resting him ahead of the playoffs if it had defeated the Cowboys and clinched that No. 1 seed.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, it was "uncertain" if Hurts would play with the sprained shoulder against the Saints even before the contest against the Cowboys.

Hurts was firmly in the MVP discussion ahead of this setback and could still win it if he returns to the field and leads his team to the No. 1 seed. He has completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 3,472 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions while adding 747 yards and 13 scores on the ground this season.

The 24-year-old has taken a leap this season as a passer and overall playmaker after combining for 22 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions in his first two years in the league.

Philadelphia's offense still played fairly well against the Cowboys without him during a 40-34 loss. Gardner Minshew II went 24-of-40 for 355 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions while scoring a touchdown on the ground, and the wide receiver combination of DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown torched the Dallas secondary.

They combined for 14 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns, helping make up for a rushing attack that averaged just 3.0 yards per carry.

The return of Hurts would be a massive boost to that rushing attack because of the threat he provides with both his own legs and the attention he draws from opposing defenses, which in turn creates lanes for Miles Sanders.

A matchup with the 6-9 New Orleans Saints should also be easier than the one against the Cowboys, and Philadelphia could jump out to an early lead and then rest Hurts as it clinches the No. 1 seed.