Eagles’ Nick Sirianni unsure if Jalen Hurts will have to keep playing through pain

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Sirianni unsure if Hurts will have to keep playing through pain originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

After the Eagles’ 22-16 win over the Giants on Sunday, head coach Nick Sirianni praised Jalen Hurts for playing through his shoulder injury but admitted Hurts was “hurting bad” in that game.

With the win, the Eagles clinched the No. 1 seed and the bye week that comes with it. So they won’t play again until either Jan. 20 or Jan. 21, giving them a couple weeks between games.

But will Hurts have to play through pain the rest of the way?

“I’m not sure I can answer that question,” Sirianni said on Tuesday afternoon. “We are fortunate that we have two weeks till the next time we play, depending on if it's Saturday or Sunday. We're fortunate there. Again, he's going to be a little bit healthier than what he was obviously the other day.”

Well, sure, that stands to reason. The passage of time from the injury in Chicago on Dec. 18 until Sunday is what allowed Hurts to heal enough to return to game action.

But it’s hard to know exactly how healthy he’ll be and how much pain he’ll have to play through when the Eagles kick off their postseason in the divisional round.

Sirianni did say that Hurts came out of Sunday’s game feeling sore, which wasn’t much of a surprise.

“He came out of that game sore because it's still healing, right?” Sirianni said. “We didn't feel like we were putting him at any more risk of getting more injured, but we knew it was going to hurt him like hell, he knew it was going to hurt him like hell.

“That's the kind of player he is, that’s the kind of teammate he is. He fought through it because it was important for him to be out there, he knew how important it was for him and his teammates to be out there.”

It was clear in Sunday’s game that the injury factored into the game plan. Sirianni after the win didn’t want to get into the specifics of that but a big facet of the Eagles’ offense was missing. There were no designed runs aside from one quarterback sneak and the read-option game was non-existent. Aside from that, Hurts also made a concerted effort to protect himself in the pocket and when he was forced out of it as a scrambler.

That was fine against the Giants in Week 18 but the Eagles have to know they can’t afford to play like that in the playoffs. They’re going to need Hurts’ running ability and the threat of that ability at their disposal.

Hurts’ actual injury is a sprain of the SC joint in the shoulder, which is actually closer to the breastbone. Former NFL head team physician Dr. David Chao explained a few differences in the SC joint sprain vs. the more common AC joint sprain for Sports Injury Central.

Chao summarized that with the SC joint injury, it might be easier for the quarterback to throw, but harder to take contact. And while it may linger longer, the player can still play through the injury.

That checks out with what we saw from Hurts on Sunday. For the most part, he looked OK throwing the football but the Eagles really tried to avoid as many hits as possible.

Now they just have to hope that this extra week of rest will get Hurts healthy enough to unleash the full offense in the playoffs.

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