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With or without Jalen Hurts, Eagles look to secure top seed vs. Giants

Dec 18, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) walks off the field after the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles hope the third time is the charm as they once again try to lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a victory on Sunday in their regular-season finale against the visiting New York Giants.

Both NFC East teams are playoff-bound, but the Eagles (13-3) dropped their last two games with Gardner Minshew at quarterback while the Giants (9-6-1) locked up their first postseason appearance since 2016 with a 38-10 victory against the Indianapolis Colts last week.

Philadelphia won the teams’ first meeting 48-22 at East Rutherford, N.J., in Week 14, with Jalen Hurts throwing for 217 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 77 yards and one score.

However, Hurts injured his right (throwing) shoulder the following week in a win against the Chicago Bears and was replaced by an inconsistent Minshew in losses to the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints the past two weekends.

Minshew threw three interceptions in those losses — including a devastating, fourth-quarter pick-six against the Saints — as Dallas, the San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings all moved to within a game of Philadelphia at 12-4.

Hurts was listed as a limited participant in Philadelphia’s walkthrough practice Wednesday, and coach Nick Sirianni did not commit to his star quarterback’s readiness for Sunday.

“First and foremost, we’re always going to want him to be healthy enough to not put himself at danger,” Sirianni said. “He’s got to be able to throw the ball down the field. He’s got to be able to throw it accurately. He’s got to be able to throw it with velocity so that he can be effective as a quarterback.”

Eagles running back Miles Sanders was also listed as limited on Wednesday due to a knee injury. The first-time Pro Bowl selection ran for a season-high 144 yards with two touchdowns in the first meeting against the Giants.

New York counterpart Saquon Barkley was held to 28 yards on nine carries by a Philadelphia defense that registered seven of its league-leading and franchise-record 68 sacks on the season against the Giants.

New York quarterback Daniel Jones accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) in last weekend against the Colts. He has career bests in completion rate (67.2 percent), passer rating (92.5) and interception rate (NFL-best 1.1 percent) in his fourth season.

The Giants are locked into the No. 6 NFC seed and will go on the road in the wild-card round to face either the 49ers or the Vikings.

First-year Giants coach Brian Daboll planned to wait until late in the week to determine whether to rest players on Sunday.

“We’ll talk about it and do what’s best for the team,” he said. “Go out there and try to have a good week of practice, prepare like we normally do, and then decide what we want to do relative to who’s playing, who’s not playing. Whatever we think is best for our team, that’s what we’ll end up doing.”

Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (knee) was a limited participant on Wednesday, while center Jon Feliciano (back), linebacker Azeez Ojulari (ankle) and defensive lineman Leonard Williams (neck) did not practice. Safety Xavier McKinney (fingers) was a full participant.

The Eagles opened the 21-day practice window Wednesday for safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, defensive end Robert Quinn and offensive lineman Brett Toth to return from injured reserve.

Right tackle Lane Johnson (groin), defensive end Josh Sweat (neck) and cornerback Avonte Maddox did not participate in Wednesday’s session. Linebacker Shaun Bradley (wrist) was limited.

–Field Level Media