Jalen Hurts Sends a Concerning Message About His Shoulder Injury
After Jalen Hurts injured his right shoulder late in the regular season and missed two straight games because of it, Philadelphia Eagles fans understandably started to worry. Despite Philly’s dominance for most of the season, this team has almost no chance of winning a Super Bowl in 2023 if Hurts isn’t healthy for a playoff run.
The MVP candidate returned to the field in Week 18, but it was tough to gauge how close to 100% he really was because of the conservative offensive game plan put in place. Thankfully, Hurts led the Eagles to a win against the New York Giants to lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC, because it sounds as if he’ll need every last day of this upcoming bye week to get himself ready for the divisional round.
Jalen Hurts sends a concerning message about his shoulder injury
Hurts’ shoulder injury may be worse than the Eagles are letting on.
When the star quarterback was originally diagnosed with a sprained right shoulder last month, reports stated the team didn’t consider it to be a long-term injury. The Eagles reportedly expected Hurts to be back to 100% in time for the playoffs, and the feeling was that he would’ve played against the Dallas Cowboys if it was a must-win game.
But Hurts didn’t suit up for the divisional showdown. Then, he missed a second straight game against the New Orleans Saints the following week. With the Eagles needing a win against the Giants in Week 18 to secure the No. 1 seed, Hurts finally returned to the field.
Although it was encouraging to see Hurts back under center, his play didn’t inspire much confidence. The 24-year-old finished the game with his second-worst completion percentage of the season (57.1%), his third-fewest rushing yards (13), and he didn’t account for a single touchdown for the first time all year. All that mattered for Philadelphia was keeping its QB healthy and finishing the season with a win, and that was accomplished, but Hurts didn’t look close to 100%.
Based on his most recent comments, he might not be by the divisional round, either.
“It’s a good thing there’s a bye week,” Hurts told reporters Thursday, per a tweet from Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Enquirer. “But I’ve played injured before.”
Hm. Sure sounds as if Hurts is preparing to start his playoff run at less than full health.
The Eagles can’t win the Super Bowl without a fully healthy Jalen Hurts
The Eagles have a loaded roster this season. Position by position, it might be the most talented group of 53 players in the NFL.
But that talent won’t be enough to overcome poor QB play. We saw it in the two games Gardner Minshew started with Hurts sidelined, both of which turned out to be losses. With Hurts under center, though, Philadelphia is 14-1 this year.
What makes this offense so unstoppable is Hurts’ dual-threat ability. Depending on the defense the opponent decides to play, he can slice you up through the air or on the ground. And when plays break down, Hurts is one of the best in the business at turning garbage into gold with his legs.
If Hurts is still nursing his sprained shoulder by next weekend, he won’t be the same threat on designed runs and scrambles from the pocket. Based on his comments this week, Hurts might be closer to the QB we saw in Week 18 than the one we saw most of the season.
If that’s the case, the Eagles can kiss their Super Bowl dreams goodbye.