Quarterback Jalen Hurts use his bye week wisely to be ready for work as the Philadelphia Eagles hit the practice field Tuesday.
Hurts said he rested and reviewed his two regular-season wins over the New York Giants to prepare for the NFC Divisional playoff meeting Saturday.
“We put ourselves in this position by what we did all season, the consistency we had all season and the focus,” Hurts said. “I don’t think anything changes in terms of the process. The process remains the same … but the standard rises.”
Hurts sprained his right shoulder Dec. 18, meaning he’ll be five weeks removed from the initial injury when the No. 1 seed in the NFC hosts the divisional rival Giants in prime time Saturday. Hurts missed two games and returned to the lineup Jan. 8 to help the Eagles clinch the first-round bye and homefield advantage.
Head coach Nick Sirianni didn’t allow Hurts to throw in the team’s full practice last Thursday. He said the decision was precautionary with progress toward complete health for Saturday the main objective.
“(Hurts) is better than he was two weeks ago,” Sirianni said Tuesday, before Hurts was to be on the practice field without a limited designated for the first time since Dec. 16.
Philadelphia won the first meeting vs. the Giants 48-22 and took the Week 18 regular-season finale 22-16.
Cumulatively, Hurts had 16 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown, threw two TD passes and was intercepted once. But the Giants recorded seven sacks of Hurts in the defeats, which brings up the question of how much he can handle physically.
“It’s football, I got a bounty on me every week. I just gotta go out there and play my game,” Hurts said.
Giants head coach Brian Daboll knows exactly what he expects from Hurts, one of his prized pupils during one year working with Alabama head coach Nick Saban. In 2017, Daboll was a Tuscaloosa resident and on Alabama’s staff for the Crimson Tide’s national title win. During the championship game, Saban benched Hurts for Tua Tagovailoa.
“Tremendous person first and foremost. Highly competitive, extremely smart, great leader. He means a lot to me,” Daboll said. “He’s a winner. He’s a leader at that position. I think he can galvanize a locker room, which obviously he’s done. He’s made every throw he’s had to make. He’s tough to bring down when he runs, whether it’s designed runs or scrambles. He’s just gotten better and better. He’s as competitive and mentally tough as I’ve ever been around. Nothing rattles him.”
–Field Level Media