Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni announced on Thursday morning that starting quarterback Jalen Hurts is expected to miss Saturday’s NFC East showdown with the Dallas Cowboys.
Hurts has missed practice all week with a right shoulder injury that made his status for Saturday’s game very much in doubt.
Backup Gardner Minshew is expected to get the start in Hurts’ absence.
Here is Sirianni discussing the quarterback situation on Thursday.
Hurts has emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season and is having an MVP-caliber season for the Eagles. Normally that type of quarterback missing a division rivalry game like this, especially one that has some playoff implications, would be viewed as a damaging development.
But that might not totally be the case here.
Even though a win over the Cowboys on Saturday would lock up the NFC East crown and the No. 1 seed in the NFC (with home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs) this is far from a must-win game for the Eagles. They have a multiple game lead in both races, and a loss would not impact their spot in the standings. It might make things a little bit closer, but they would still be in the driver’s seat for the NFC East and home field. Especially with winnable games against New Orleans and the New York Giants (both at home) remaining.
The other factor at play here is that the Eagles have one of the league’s best backup quarterbacks in Minshew.
He has only been relegated to mop-up duty in a couple of blowout wins this season, but he went 1-1 as a starter for the Eagles a year ago.
During his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Eagles Minshew has thrown 41 touchdowns to only 12 interceptions, while also completing more than 63 percent of his passes and averaging more than seven yards per pass attempt. He is very capable of not only playing extremely well, especially in an offense surrounded by all-pro talent on the offensive line and impact playmakers at the skill positions, but also leading the Eagles to a division-clinching win.