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January 12, 2023

Eagles DE Josh Sweat returns to practice, says he's ready for the playoffs

Sweat said he's "ready to go" for the Eagles' playoff run, while Jalen Hurts (shoulder) takes it slow in practice

Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat returned to practice on Thursday and said he's "ready to go" for the team's playoff run. 

Sweat suffered a neck injury early into the Week 17 loss to the Saints, which left him down and near motionless for a few minutes after trying to make a tackle. He was put on a stretcher and carted off the field, then was transported to a Philadelphia hospital as a precaution, but was released later that night and vowed to return this season

Right now, with more than a week still to rest, that's looking quite possible, though probably still requires official clearance from the team's medical staff.

"Physically, I mean, I was good after a couple minutes," Sweat said of the injury after practice on Thursday (via WIP's Eliot Shorr-Parks). "Emotionally, I just wanted to be out there, that's all I cared about. That was the hard part for me, just missing that game and the next one. I could've been a part of that fun that was going on just being around everybody, but I'm good now. I'm ready to go out and moved past it, and excited for what's to come."

Sweat returned to the NovaCare Complex in the leadup to the Week 18 regular-season finale against the Giants, but didn't practice nor play. 

The 25-year old pass rusher, in his fifth season, was one of the four Eagles to rack up at least 11 sacks on the way to a franchise-record 70 combined, and has arguably been one of the more underrated defensive players in the NFL because of the spotlight shared with Haason Reddick and veterans Brandon Graham, Javon Hargrave, and Fletcher Cox. 

Still, he's been just as valuable to the Eagles' defensive front in creating yet another problem for opposing offenses to worry about. 

Sweat missed the playoff game down in Tampa Bay last season after he needed an emergency procedure to address abrupt internal bleeding the week of. 

Somehow, as Sweat recalled over the summer, he and the Eagles' training staff nearly had himself ready to play still but fell just short of the requirements for doctors to clear him. 

He probably doesn't want to miss the playoff run this time. 

Hurts update

Jalen Hurts was also at practice Thursday, but it appears the Eagles are taking things slowly with their starting quarterback as he continues to recover from a sprained throwing shoulder.

Hurts participated in warmups and individual drills but didn't make any actual throws, instead working through the motion with a towel as captured by The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane

Hurts returned under center for the Week 18 finale against the Giants to help the Eagles capture the NFC's No. 1 seed in the playoffs, awarding them home-field advantage and a first-round bye that has now bought himself, Sweat, cornerback Avonte Maddox, and right tackle Lane Johnson that much more time to recover. 

But Hurts and the gameplan around him were limited in the 22-16 win, and head coach Nick Sirianni confirmed afterward that the 24-year old was playing through pain

Hurts, at his locker after Thursday's practice, danced around whether he would be 100 percent by next week, but did highlight that the extra time was invaluable. 

"Feeling better. Just a day-by-day thing," he said (again via Shorr-Parks). "I think the whole world knows I'm dealing with something, been dealing with something. Think the whole point of that game was coming back and getting done what we needed to get done and obviously have this time to rest, so here it is."

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