Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts suffered a sprained right shoulder and his status for Philadelphia’s game at Dallas is uncertain, a person with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.
Hurts was injured Sunday during a win over Chicago, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the injury.
Hurts has led the Eagles to a 13-1 mark and the best record in the NFL. The 24-year-old morphed into a serious NFL MVP candidate in his second season as a starter.
Hurts has thrown 22 touchdowns and has 3,472 yards passing, and he has rushed for 747 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He took several big hits against the Bears and landed hard on his shoulder when he was tackled by defensive tackle Travis Gipson. Hurts did not seem to be in any pain when he talked to the media after the game and brushed off questions about being slow to get up from some tackles.
“Feel good, listening to my Anita Baker, gave me some sweets on the plane ride home, watch the tape, learn from it and move forward,” he said. “It wasn’t the first time I’ve been slow, won’t be the last. I didn’t play a really physical game.”
The Eagles need one more win to clinch the NFC East and secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC. They would turn to backup QB Gardner Minshew to start Saturday’s game against the Cowboys. The fourth-year QB has seen limited action in garbage time this season but started two games for the Eagles last year and threw four touchdowns and had 439 yards passing.
Philadelphia’s sensational season means the Eagles can play it safe and rest Hurts so he is ready for the playoffs. Hurts had been an MVP front-runner on most betting sites, but he plummeted to 7-1 on Monday, per FanDuel SportsBook. Also per FanDuel, the Cowboys are now a 6-point favorite to beat the Eagles.
After Dallas, the Eagles close the season with home games against New Orleans and the New York Giants. Should they earn the No. 1 seed in the conference, the Eagles could play up to two home games at Lincoln Financial Field in the playoffs.
Hurts recently celebrated two years since he was promoted to starter at the end of the 2020 season over the ineffective Carson Wentz. The Eagles’ decision at the time to draft Hurts in the second round with the 53rd overall pick in 2020, when the Eagles had far more pressing needs, was a puzzler. But Wentz was traded to Indianapolis and the Eagles stuck with the 2019 Heisman Trophy runner-up and watched him blossom into one of the best QBs in the NFL.
Hurts’ 35 total touchdowns this season tied the franchise record set by Randall Cunningham in 1990. He threw two interceptions against the Bears after throwing only three total all season. But he rushed for three touchdowns for the second time in his career. He went 22-of-37 passing for 315 yards in Sunday’s 25-21 win.
“When things are looking a certain way on the field or maybe it’s not what we want it to be, we stay together and we find a way to fix it,” Hurts said.
Now the Eagles likely will have to do the same as they prepare to play without Hurts.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.