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Jalen Hurts’ Week 17 return for Philadelphia Eagles increases after Thursday

Following practice on Thursday, Jalen Hurts making a return to action for the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17 is looking a lot more possible.

On Christmas Eve, the Eagles and Cowboys faced off in a primetime affair that was not only one of the most highly anticipated games in the division but in the entire league this season. Two of the best teams in the NFC East, and long-time rivals, battled with the division (for the Eagles) and playoff seeding on the line.

However, one massive element was missing from the matchup, and that was Eagles QB and MVP candidate Jalen Hurts. The 2022 Pro Bowler suffered an SC joint sprain in his shoulder in a Week 15 win over the Bears. And despite his best efforts, he was ruled out of what would be a highly competitive loss last week.

Related: Eagles Pro Bowler to delay season-ending surgery to suit up in playoffs

Due to the severity of the injury and how important Jalen Hurts is to Philadelphia’s Super Bowl hopes, there were some questions about his availability for even this week’s game. While nothing is guaranteed, it seems that after practice on Thursday, things are looking up for Hurts to suit up on Sunday.

Jalen Hurts ‘threw the ball well’ at Philadelphia Eagles practice Thursday

jalen hurts
Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, it was reported that Hurts was back at practice for the first time since suffering his injury in Week 15. The starting QB was not expected to be on the field for workouts, and local media spotted the 24-year-old throwing the football and he looked good in the process.

The possibility of Jalen Hurts playing on Sunday was furthered by Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni on Friday morning. When he informed the media at his press conference that his QB “threw the ball well at practice yesterday and with good velocity.” However, he was still “sorting through options on whether Hurts or Gardner Minshew will start (via Mike Garafolo).”

The Philadelphia Eagles are in a tough position. They are still likely to lock up the division and a first-round playoff bye with a win this week. However, the quicker they can do that the better chance of resting Hurts for the next two weeks before their first postseason matchup. Playing him gives them a better chance of that.

  • Jalen Hurts stats (2022): 3,472 passing yards, 747 rushing yards, 34 total TDs

Yet, the Eagles are not winning a title without Hurts and they need him as healthy as possible. And in the end, that is more important than any seeding in the always unpredictable NFL playoffs, and being overly cautious might be the best route ahead for the organization.