Sun, 16 Jan 2022

Eagles need win at Jets, with or without hobbled QB

Field Level Media
02 Dec 2021, 11:40 GMT+10

Both the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets hope they have found their quarterbacks of the future in Jalen Hurts and Zach Wilson.

But for Philadelphia, the present matters just a little more as the teams prepare for their game in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday.

Philadelphia (5-7) is onlya half-game out of the final wild-card spot in the NFC as it enters its final game before the bye.

New York (3-8) is not a factor in the AFC playoff chase but is trying to get Wilson valuable experience after he sat out four games because of a knee injury. He returned last week for a 21-14 victory at Houston.

The Eagles are dealing with some uncertainty regarding Hurts, who suffered a sprained ankle in the 13-7 loss to the New York Giants last Sunday. Hurts practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, and both he and first-year head coach Nick Sirianni expressed confidence that he would be good to go.

"I'll be ready to go," Hurts said. "You guys (media) obviously know I'm dealing with a little something but it's business as usual."

Said Sirianni: "He's as tough as they get. Obviously, you want that out of your quarterback. ... I think in his and my mind, we're both saying, 'Yeah, he's going.'"

If Hurts has a setback, or if Sirianni and the Eagles change their plans, backup Gardner Minshew would get the start. How would that affect Philadelphia's offensive game plan?

"I don't want to say it's different game plans," Sirianni said. "It's different styles a little bit because you tweak everything for each individual player. So it is, but again, we're playing (against) a certain style of defense. So, there will be some similarities regardless of who's playing quarterback."

"The quarterback (Hurts) is dynamic with the ball in his hands," Jets coach Robert Saleh said. "Whenever the quarterback is involved in the run game, it's 11-on-11 football."

But if Hurts is ailing, will he be able to run as much? Hurts, who threw three interceptions against the Giants, has rushed for at least 55 yards in each of his last six games.

Wilson was a lackluster 14-for-24 for 145 yards and no touchdowns and one interception, with a passer rating of 58.5 in the victory over the Texans.

"Was it his best game? No," Saleh said. "Did he do a lot of things? Did he get comfortable as the game went on? Absolutely. ... He orchestrated three pretty long drives and did enough to win the football game and that's what's most important."

Wilson also had a 4-yard touchdown run when he audibled on a third quarter read-option. He admitted his right knee isn't 100 percent, but both he and Saleh said he can't damage it further by playing.

"No excuses," he said after the game. "You've got to be able to come out and play well. I've had this whole time to watch and learn from everybody else. I thought I had my best week of practice, so now I've just got to put it to the field and just get better."

For the Eagles, right guard Jack Driscoll (sprained ankle) is out for the season but it appears center Jason Kelce (knee) should play.

Jets wide receiver Corey Davis (groin) could miss a second straight game. He did not practice Wednesday.

Philadelphia is 11-0 all-time against the Jets in a series that began in 1973, but as Saleh said when informed of the stat, "That's history."

The last meeting was Philadelphia's 31-6 romp on Oct. 6, 2019, when the Jets started third-string quarterback Luke Falk.

--Field Level Media

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