Eagles coach Nick Sirianni says Jalen Hurts should be 100% going into playoffs

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  • Dallas Cowboys
    Dallas Cowboys
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  • Philadelphia Eagles
    Philadelphia Eagles
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  • Jalen Hurts
    Jalen Hurts
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  • Nick Sirianni
    Nick Sirianni
    American football coach

Sirianni updates Hurts' ankle injury going into playoffs originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Some Eagles regulars couldn’t play because they’re still on the COVID list. Some couldn’t play because they’re hurt. Others didn’t play because they needed the rest a whole lot more than they needed the work.

Then there’s Jalen Hurts.

Nick Sirianni said the decision not to play Hurts Saturday night against the Cowboys was not an easy one and came down to his ankle and the value an extra week of rest would mean for the 23-year-old quarterback.

It’s been five weeks now since Hurts sprained his ankle in the Eagles’ loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 28. Hurts had two weeks off – he didn’t play against the Jets and then had a bye week – and looked progressively better on the ankle in the three games he’s played since, wins over Washington, the Giants and Washington again.

READ: Nick Sirianni made the right call by resting starters

But even though he looked more and more nimble each week, the ankle still wasn’t 100 percent going into the meaningless season-ending game against Dallas, and Sirianni’s only priority was making sure every key player is as close to 100 percent as possible heading into the postseason.

So any value there was to get a young quarterback some work was overshadowed by the need to get him healthy.

“As far as with Jalen, we thought a lot about that,” Sirianni said. “He has done a really good job these last three games playing within the pocket, and we have done a little bit less with running with him and everything like that. We just thought this was an opportunity to get him back to 100 percent.”

Hurts next weekend will become the youngest quarterback in Eagles history to make his playoff debut in a road wild-card game.

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It’s safe to say the Eagles’ hopes for an upset ride heavily on Hurts, and it’s safe to say Hurts’ performance lies heavily in his ability not only to take off and run but to use his mobility to create plays in the passing game.

And a second week off gives him the best chance to do that.

“I know we have talked a lot about how we have to (have) our full arsenal of offense and not have any limitations to do what we want to do in the playoffs,” Sirianni said. “So that’s what went into that.”

Hurts finished the season with an 8-7 record, improving his completion percentage from 52 percent to 61 percent, throwing for 16 touchdowns and rushing for 10 more, passing for 3,144 yards, increasing his passer rating from 77.7 to 87.2 and rushing for 784 yards with a 5.6 average.

Of the 10 quarterbacks in the NFL who are 23 or younger, only Hurts and Mac Jones are in the playoffs as of now.