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Eagles Rumors: Jalen Hurts Will Start at QB vs. Giants After Shoulder Injury Recovery

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 7, 2023

Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts carries the ball as tight end Jack Stoll protects his backside during an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts will start against the New York Giants on Sunday after missing the last two games with a sprained right (throwing) shoulder, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jeff McLane @Jeff_McLane

Jalen Hurts will start at QB for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Eagles?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Eagles</a> on Sunday vs. the N.Y. Giants, NFL sources said.<br><br>Not a huge surprise.<br><br>Hurts (right shoulder) was listed as questionable on Friday after being a limited participant at practice all week. He missed the previous two games.

The third-year pro out of Alabama and Oklahoma played at an MVP level over the first 14 games of the season with 35 total touchdowns (22 passing, 13 rushing) in addition to 3,472 passing yards and 747 rushing yards. Despite his massive usage, Hurts turned the ball over just seven times (five interceptions, two lost fumbles).

Thanks largely to his breakout performance, the Eagles jumped out to an NFL-best 13-1 record.

Unfortunately, Hurts suffered the aforementioned shoulder injury in a 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears on Dec. 18.

He finished out the game but missed the team's next two contests, a pair of defeats to the Dallas Cowboys (40-34) and New Orleans Saints (20-10).

Backup quarterback Gardner Minshew stepped in for Hurts and struggled, completing 58.3 percent of his passes for 629 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Encouraging news emerged leading into the team's regular-season finale against the Giants, though.

Hurts was a limited practice participant all week and listed as questionable for the game on the injury report. His No. 1 wideout, A.J. Brown, also offered these comments Thursday to reporters.

John Clark @JClarkNBCS

"We are all excited to see him back. He is locked in for sure. He definitely had a tempo about him today. He was telling guys, come on, hurry up. I'm glad he's back"<br><br>-AJ Brown on Jalen Hurts taking the first team reps today at practice. Sounds like Jalen will return Sunday👍🏻 <a href="https://t.co/3sqOplAJ42">pic.twitter.com/3sqOplAJ42</a>

Head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters Friday that Hurts was "trending in the right direction."

Now Hurts is officially back in the mix as the Eagles' QB1.

Sunday's home game against the Giants serves as a pivotal matchup for the Eagles, who will earn the NFC's No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory.

The Giants are already locked into the NFC's No. 6 seed, and the team is "expected" to rest key starters in advance of the postseason, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. Philadelphia notably beat the Giants 48-22 last month.

The heavy favorites will charge ahead with Hurts under center as the team looks for the conference's top seed and some positive momentum heading into the playoffs to end its two-game losing skid.