HomeDa Birds NewsJalen Hurts May Not Play in Eagles vs. Seahawks Game

Jalen Hurts May Not Play in Eagles vs. Seahawks Game

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The Philadelphia Eagles, already shorthanded entering Monday night’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, might be without Jalen Hurts, as well.

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Sunday morning, the Eagles downgraded Hurts to “questionable” due to an illness that reportedly worsened overnight since he first appeared on the injury report Saturday.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles traveled Hurts separately from the rest of the team in hopes that he would not spread the illness to any of his teammates prior to kickoff on Monday night.

Philadelphia’s original belief was that Hurts would be able to play despite the illness, even after missing Saturday’s final practice of the week prior to Monday night’s game.

In addition to Hurts possibly missing the game, the Eagles will be without cornerback Darius Slay against the Seahawks, after he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this week.

Hurts has played his way into the MVP conversation, for a second consecutive season, while completing 66.5 percent of his passes for 3,192 yards with 19 touchdowns to 10 interceptions while also adding 430 rushing yards and 12 more scores.

Monday night’s game is critical to the Eagles’ chances of regaining the NFC East lead and potentially climbing back into the No. 1 seed in the NFC, after losing consecutive games against the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys resulted in Philadelphia falling all the way to the No. 5 seed.

Marcus Mariota Could Start in Place of Jalen Hurts

If Hurts is unable to go, the Eagles’ offense would be in the hands of Marcus Mariota in what is essentially a must-win game for playoff positioning.

Mariota has seen limited playing time this season, appearing in just two games and attempting just three passes while passing for 16 yards.

Since being chosen with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, by the Tennessee Titans, Mariota has appeared in 89 games while completing 62.6 percent of his passes for 15,672 yards with 92 touchdowns to 54 interceptions.

The Eagles enter Week 15 with a slim lead over the Cowboys in the conference-record tiebreaker, currently standing at 6-2, while the Cowboys are 7-3, so a win against the Seahawks could prove critical to Philadelphia’s hopes of regaining the division lead.

Mariota could wind up proving instrumental to the Eagles’ chances of recording a conference win against the Seahawks.

Jalen Hurts’ Ball Security Takes Focus

Prior to falling ill, Hurts’ ball security was a point of emphasis during Friday’s Eagles practice.

Typically a walkthrough, the Eagles strapped on the pads on Friday and included drills where Hurts fell to the ground protecting the football after Hurts fumbled in seven consecutive games.

“We have to do a better job protecting the football going to the ground,” Sirianni told reporters. “Jalen has to do a better job with that, going to the ground, and we got to do a better job coaching that.

“There are different ways to simulate going to the ground. It’s one of the most unnatural things that you can do in football, to be able to protect the football as you go to the ground, because naturally your body wants to sprawl out to catch yourself and sprawl out with the arm that’s carrying it. So we’ve got to put them in those situations even more. That’s my job as the head coach.”

Whether it is Hurts or Mariota against the Seahawks, the Eagles need the quarterback to do a significantly better job protecting the football.

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