Philadelphia Eagles star quarterback Jalen Hurts missed two games late in the regular season due to a shoulder injury. When the NFL MVP candidate returned for Week 18 against the New York Giants, he was still in a ton of pain.
As for Philadelphia’s upcoming matchup against these very same Giants in the NFL Divisional Playoffs Saturday evening, Hurts knows full well that New York defenders could target his ailing shoulder.
“I’ve got a bounty on me every week,” Hurts told reporters on Tuesday. The quarterback continued by saying he’s going to play his game “and whatever happens, happens.”
Despite playing stellar football in 2022, Hurts’ sack numbers were up from 26 the previous season to 38. The former Alabama standout will be forced to go up against a studly Giants defensive front led by rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux as well as second-team All-Pro Dexter Lawrence. He knows full well that getting hit will be part of the game.
Jalen Hurts shoulder injury and impact on the Philadelphia Eagles
Hurts’ return to action Week 18 after a two-game absence included the former Alabama star completing 22-of-35 passes for 229 yards with zero passing touchdowns and an interception. His shoulder injury likely played a role in the substandard performance despite Philadelphia coming away with a 22-16 win to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
“We didn’t feel like we’re putting him at any more risk of getting more injured, but we knew it was going to hurt him like hell, and he knew it was going to hurt him like hell. But that’s kind of player he is; that’s the kind of teammate he is. He fought through it, because it was important for him to be out there, and he knew how important it was him and to his teammates for him to be out there.”Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni on Jalen Hurts
That’s why Philadelphia earning the first-round bye via their win over New York in Week 18 was huge. It gave Hurts a week off to help his shoulder improve.
Coming off a regular season in which he led Philadelphia to a 14-3 record, Hurts is now seemingly closer to 100%. “(Hurts) is better than he was two weeks ago,” Sirianni said.
Philadelphia opens up its quest for a Super Bowl title Saturday night at home against New York. They have won nine consecutive home dates with the Giants and are 7.5-point favorites heading in.
A win would result in a date with either the San Francisco 49ers or Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game the following Sunday.