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January 04, 2023

Nick Sirianni on Jalen Hurts' status: 'We'll keep that day by day'

Hurts participated in Wednesday's walk through, but Sirianni isn't showing the Eagles' hand yet

Nick Sirianni isn't about to show his hand yet. 

When the Eagles head coach met with the media on Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex, he had the following to say about quarterback Jalen Hurts and his potential status for Sunday against the Giants: 

"We'll still keep that day-by-day. We don't have to make a decision yet. We're gonna see how this week goes and we're gonna see how today's walkthrough goes. Tomorrow we'll see a little bit more because we'll do more than a walkthrough, we'll be practicing. So we'll get a better idea here in the next couple days." 

Hurts, who was in the midst of an MVP-caliber campaign, suffered a sprained shoulder to his throwing arm during the Week 15 win over the Bears in Chicago, causing him to miss the past two games. 

With him under the center, the Eagles were 13-1. The past couple of weeks against the Cowboys and Saints with Hurts sidelined: They went 0-2. 

Yeah, they miss him badly, and there's an urgency to get him back for the Week 18 regular-season finale against the Giants with the NFC East title and the conference's No. 1 seed in the playoffs – which would grant the Eagles home-field advantage and a first-round bye – on the line. 

Reports surfaced earlier in the week that Hurts is expected to be available against New York, and with a return to practice in the middle of last week and participation in the walkthrough on Wednesday, he does appear headed that way. (He was listed as a limited participant on Wednesday's injury report). 

This wasn't the situation the Eagles wanted to be in. With injuries mounting between Hurts, right tackle Lane Johnson (torn abductor), nickel corner Avonte Maddox (toe), and defensive end Josh Sweat (neck), locking up the No. 1 seed with a win over Dallas or New Orleans would've allowed for increasingly precious rest time for the starters. 

Instead, they're taking it down to the wire against a Giants team that has their spot (No. 6 seed) secured with little else to play for. 

Ideally, provided Hurts does play, he would start and then get pulled once the Eagles have built a large enough lead. But there's no guarantees, not after back-to-back losses for the first time all season. 

"I'm not ever gonna be somebody that hits a panic button," Sirianni said after Sunday's loss to the Saints where the Eagles fell completely flat. "We're gonna double down on the things we think are true and we're gonna get better from this. That's all we can do. 

"We gotta own what we put out there and get better from it."

Hurts is a huge run threat for opposing defenses, but when it comes to passing accuracy and taking care of the football, arguably no one has done it better than him this seasonWithout Hurts the past two weeks, the Eagles' offense has been noticeably more one-dimensional, and against New Orleans especially, stagnant. 

A system quarterback he is absolutely not

Wentz benched again

010223CarsonWentzBrad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

I would say that Carson Wentz choked in another elimination game, but the Commanders didn't even know that they were playing in one.

With their playoff hopes at stake, the Washington Commanders turned back to Carson Wentz to save their season.

He gave them a complete clunker. 

The former Eagles QB, whose career has been in a spiral since the Doug Pederson era fell apart in 2020, threw for just 143 yards and three interceptions on 16-28 passing, and Washington lost to the Browns 24-10, effectively ending their season. 

Now, with the Commanders approaching their season finale against Dallas, Wentz won't even dress. 

Rookie Sam Howell is getting the start and Taylor Heinicke will be the backup, according to ESPN, while Wentz's run in Washington is likely over after a single season. 

Wentz is still under contract through 2024 under his original extension with the Eagles, but the Commanders have an out in 2023 that won't leave them with any dead cap hit to absorb. 

"The most important thing is we're really intrigued in seeing what Sam can do in this league," Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said of the fifth-round pick out of North Carolina (via ESPN). "The opportunity is going to be a good one for him to go out and play and show us. We won't judge everything on Sam based on one game. We get an opportunity to see how he prepares."

Wentz is likely going to be in search of his fourth team in as many years this offseason, but the chances to start may have grown way slimmer. 

After looking like the franchise quarterback in 2017, Wentz was never quite the same in Philadelphia after his ACL tear, the Nick Foles-led miracle run to the Super Bowl, and the inescapable shadow he came back to. 

He was traded to Indianapolis but fell out of favor fast as the Colts collapsed down the stretch, then did the same in Washington this season, losing his job to Heinicke before getting one more shot at it only to squander again. 

It's been a brutal few years for the former second overall pick. 

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