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Eagles' Jalen Hurts Returns to Practice for 1st Time Since Shoulder Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 29, 2022

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws the football in action during a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chicago Bears on December 18, 2022, at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts returned to practice Thursday for the first time since he suffered a shoulder injury in Week 15 against the Chicago Bears.

Josh Tolentino of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Hurts appeared "somewhat limited" in Thursday's practice, which comes as little surprise as he's just beginning to work his way back to the field.

Tim McManus @Tim_McManus

Jalen Hurts sighting at Eagles practice. First we've seen him on the field since the injury. <a href="https://t.co/8ibpResEaS">pic.twitter.com/8ibpResEaS</a>

Josh Tolentino @JCTSports

Hurts appears somewhat limited as a precaution. He is not participating during the team's ball security drill that involves boxing glove punches and whacks from assistant coaches. <br><br>Here is Hurts arriving for the beginning of the drill to cheer on teammates. <a href="https://t.co/D7K9gZlkGO">pic.twitter.com/D7K9gZlkGO</a>

With a win in Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, the Eagles would clinch the NFC East and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters Wednesday that Hurts hasn't been ruled out for Sunday's game.

"We'll continue to see how he progresses throughout the week," Sirianni said, via Pro Football Talk's Josh Alper. "Does he have chance? Of course he does because his body just knows how to heal. ... We'll just see what happens as the week progresses."

The 24-year-old has posted an MVP-worthy season in 2022, throwing for 3,472 yards, 22 touchdowns and only five interceptions while completing 67.3 percent of his passes and taking 35 sacks. He's also rushed for 747 yards and 13 scores.

The Eagles have gone 13-1 in Hurts' starts and 13-2 overall. Hurts missed their Week 16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Backup Gardner Minshew played admirably if inconsistently in his stead, throwing for 355 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the 40-34 loss against the Cowboys. He added a rushing score.

He'll be called into action again for the Birds if Hurts is unable to go against the Saints.