With Week 18’s regular-season finale nearing, the Philadelphia Eagles appear to be holding their cards close to the vest. Most believe that Jalen Hurts will dress and start the Birds’ final game versus the New York Giants on Sunday. All week, we’ve been hearing that he’s trending in the right direction physically. He also took first-team reps in practice and was given the thumbs up by several of his teammates, including his long-time friend A.J. Brown. Philly seems to have thrown us a curve ball however.
A little over 48 hours from the kickoff of their game versus their long-time rivals, Big Blue, Philly released their injury report. Five Birds are ruled out of Sunday’s game: Shaun Bradley (wrist), Lane Johnson (groin), Avonte Maddox (toe), Janrius Robinson (ankle), and Josh Sweat (neck). Jalen Hurts has been given a designation of questionable.
Is this gamesmanship or a negative sign? We should have an answer prior to kickoff.
Despite the Eagles’ Friday injury report, most believe he’ll play. Philly also announces a roster move. Does that mean what we think?
While the questionable designation for QB1 raises eyebrows, so do some other things we’re seeing. One, and this is important. If Jalen wasn’t going to play, it would have made more sense to give Gardner Minshew the first-team reps correct? Hey, after what we witnessed from him versus the New Orleans Saints, it’s clear that he needs them.
Despite the injury report, some still believe the chances of QB1 playing are high. Those who prescribe to the ‘watch Vegas’ theory noticed that the line for Philly versus New York on Friday morning had swollen to 14 points. Trust us on this one. They don’t do that if they believe that Gardner Minshew is the starter.
As of right now, we don’t know more about Jalen Hurts status than we did a few hours ago. We know what we think will happen. We’ll see if we’re correct.
Here are two other things worth noting.
The Eagles have also announced that they’re waiving Sua Opeta. Might that be to clear the roster spot to allow the elevation of C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Robert Quinn, or Brett Toth from their injured reserve?
The Eagles opened 21-day practice windows for all three on Wednesday and are allowed to elevate them back to the active unit at any point during the three weeks that follow Wednesday’s decision. If they aren’t elevated, they return to the I.R. for the rest of the season if the three weeks expire.
Don’t shed a tear for Sua though. There’s the possibility that Philly makes room to allow themselves the opportunity to bring him back to the practice squad.
Two other Birds were mentioned on the injury report as well. Miles Sanders (knee) was a full participant in practice. Second-year cornerback Zech McPhearson (illness) was also a full participant in the session.
That’s good news as we move closer to the final game of the campaign. As you know. This is a must-win for the Eagles.