PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jalen Hurts is expected to start for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday against Washington while playing through an injury to his left knee.
In the second half of a 31-17 victory over Miami, Hurts played with a brace on his left knee yet still led the Eagles on a go-ahead drive. Hurts clearly hasn’t been himself this season. The game-breaking runs have been kept in check and his eight interceptions are two more than he threw a season ago.
“Just taking it day by day,” Hurts said Wednesday.
Hurts didn't specify when he was injured except to say it wasn't in the game against the Dolphins.
“I don't want to make it bigger than what it is,” Hurts said. “I think it's something that comes with every player in this league. Things happen in this league and you just try to avoid them.”
The defending NFC champions are 6-1 and surely can't afford to lose Hurts for any length of time. They started 13-1 last season before Hurts sprained his right shoulder and they lost two straight games. He returned in the finale and led the Eagles to a win over the Giants and the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
“We anticipate him to go, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy,” coach Nick Sirianni said. “Again, we’ll see. We’re not going to be out on the field running around today, so I still need a little bit more time. I think he’s feeling better. We’re hopeful there will be no limitations on Sunday.”
Hurts finished runner-up to Patrick Mahomes in AP NFL MVP voting and lost again to him when Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl. Hurts was rewarded in the offseason with a five-year, $255 million extension, including $179.3 million guaranteed.
Philadelphia went 14-1 in Hurts’ starts last year and he had 3,701 yards passing, 760 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns combined in the regular season. Regardless of whether it was the lingering effects of offseason surgery on his left ankle or a series of hard hits that took a toll, Hurts has had only 274 yards rushing this season. His six scores are largely the result of the 1-yard “tush push."
Hurts insisted running wasn't responsible for his injuries.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever been banged-up as a runner,” Hurts said. “Everything comes from within the pocket. The illusion is or the narrative is that we run the ball. That’s not always the case. Not here.”
Hurts threw for 319 yards and hit wide receiver A.J. Brown for two touchdowns in a 34-31 home win in OT over the Commanders earlier this month.
“I think the reality is, we've yet to play our best ball,” Hurts said. “We just want to keep going forward.”
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