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Philadelphia Eagles claim QB Jalen Hurts ‘still in competition’ to be starter

Jul 28, 2021; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (L) and wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) walk together during training camp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2021; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (L) and wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) walk together during training camp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Jalen Hurts brought fans to their feet at training camp Thursday with a long touchdown pass to first-round pick DeVonta Smith in a pairing the Philadelphia Eagles envision seeing much more of in 2021.

But first-year head coach Nick Sirianni would not label Hurts the starter at the position on Wednesday as rumors of the Houston Texans shopping Deshaun Watson floated their way to Philly.

Hurts started for the final month of last season after Carson Wentz was benched by Doug Pederson. Wentz was traded in the offseason to the Indianapolis Colts, and the Eagles didn’t draft a challenger to Hurts in April.

“Right now, Jalen is in with the ones,” Sirianni said of his training camp plans for the quarterback. “He’s earned that because he’s worked his butt off. We’re hoping that he takes the reins and rolls with it and continues to just get good reps with the ones.”

General manager Howie Roseman said the Eagles are not connected to every trade that spins in the rumor mill but did not entirely dismiss the notion of checking with the Texans on Watson’s availability.

That didn’t bother Hurts, who has played the role of leader and starter and appears intent on continuing in that capacity until Sirianni makes it official.

“I’m above it all. Control what I can. I’m here,” he said. “That’s what I’m doing, going out there to be the quarterback of this team.”

Behind Hurts on the current depth chart are Joe Flacco and Nick Mullens. Both have starting experience but neither presents a serious threat to Hurts, who is more focused on convincing the Eagles he can be the long-term answer at the position.

“The rent is due every day,” Hurts said, repeating a known Nick Saban phrase from his Alabama days, where he was unseated by Tua Tagovailoa. “I truly mean that, and I have that mentality. For a guy like me, I hold myself accountable to go out there and play at a high level every time I touch the field. There’s not going to be anybody that holds Jalen to a higher standard than Jalen.”

Related: Top 20 NFL QB Rankings – What happened to Aaron Rodgers?

–Field Level Media