The Philadelphia Eagles will have their QB1 back with the No. 1 seed on the line.
Jalen Hurts is expected to play against the New York Giants on Sunday after missing the clubs’ previous two contests with a right shoulder strain, NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo reported Saturday on NFL GameDay Kickoff.
Garafolo added that Hurts, who was limited in practice all week, threw the ball extremely well and is not believed to be at risk of reinjury.
Philadelphia went 0-2 in its games without Hurts after dropping only one contest through its first 14.
The superstar quarterback has enjoyed a breakout season that had him firmly in the MVP mix at the time he went down. He has thrown for 3,472 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions, while adding another 747 yards and 13 scores with his feet.
Although backup Gardner Minshew was serviceable in his two relief starts, completing 42 of 72 passes for 629 yards, three TDs and three INTs (plus a rushing touchdown), Hurts retaking the field provides a much-needed jolt for a team that’s been in a holding pattern since Week 15.
This will be the third consecutive week that the Eagles can capture both the NFC East and the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a win. A Philly loss against New York, coupled with a Dallas win over Washington, would cede control of the division to the Cowboys despite the Eagles operating from the pole position for essentially all of 2022.
A defeat would also allow the 49ers to wrest away homefield advantage with a win over the Cardinals — or allow the rival Cowboys to add the No. 1 seed to their division title with a victory should the Niners fall, as well.
Beyond those massive implications, Hurts’ impending return also allows the offense to get in sync ahead of what the Eagles hope is a deep postseason run. Hurts would’ve been dealing with at least a month of rust heading into playoff football had he sat out another week.
Instead, the Eagles hope to build a big, quick lead, which will help Hurts get reacclimated but also give them the option of reinserting Minshew with the game in hand to protect their franchise QB. The chance to do this is made more likely by the fact that the Giants plan to rest key starters such as quarterback Daniel Jones, Garafolo reported, per sources.
It also can’t hurt that Philadelphia activated safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson and defensive end Robert Quinn from injured reserve on Saturday ahead of the regular-season finale.
They’ll all have a chance to get their legs back under them when the Eagles and Giants kick off Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.
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