There doesn’t appear to be a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia.
But while Jalen Hurts looks to be the No. 1 quarterback, he may not be healthy enough to play when the Eagles host the Washington Football Team on Sunday.
If Hurts’ injured ankle isn’t healed after the bye week, it will be Gardner Minshew lining up under center for the second straight week. On Dec. 5, Minshew threw two touchdown passes in a 33-18 victory over the New York Jets.
Minshew and Hurts were scheduled to split reps at practice this week, according to head coach Nick Sirianni.
“I don’t know what exactly is going to happen, just like I didn’t know last week exactly what was going to happen,” Sirianni said. “So you want to make sure you’re covered if one guy can’t play. … We’re going to do what we need to do in walk through, how we divvy up the reps. Like last walk through, both Gardner and Jalen got reps and we’ll do the same thing and we’ll see how everything goes (Thursday).”
The Eagles (6-7) remain in contention for a playoff berth and would really strengthen their case with a win over the Washington Football Team (6-7).
Sirianni added that key injured players Jason Kelce (knee), Miles Sanders (ankle) and Jordan Howard (knee) aren’t guaranteed to play but are improving each day.
“We’ll see how the week continues to go,” Sirianni said. “We’re hopeful for all of those guys.”
The Washington Football Team will be hopeful for healthy players as well.
Quarterback Kyle Allen has been added to the COVID reserve list although he could play with two negative tests. Taylor Heinicke had already been questionable with ankle and elbow injuries suffered in last week’s 27-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Heinicke, however, was listed as a full participant in practice Wednesday.
“I threw the ball at practice, and the elbow didn’t hurt while I was throwing,” Heinicke said. “All around good news.”
Starting defensive linemen Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen and Casey Toohill are all on the COVID list along with Matt Ioannidis and Kendall Fuller, among others. There are a total of 18 players on the COVID list. Chase Young has already been lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The team will likely look vastly different for this crucial NFC East matchup.
“I wouldn’t say it’s insurmountable, but it will test your depth more than anything,” Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera said. “That’s where you get concerned.”
Washington still nearly pulled off an improbable comeback win after falling behind 27-8 to the Cowboys. The defense intercepted Dak Prescott twice and was relentless down the stretch before falling just short.
Another tough divisional game awaits.
“We have dealt with adversity all year,” Heinicke said. “Guys go down and other guys have to step up and play. We have confidence in all our guys. We feel comfortable with who we’ve got. It should be interesting on Sunday. We feel good about it.”
Washington will look for its third straight victory over the Eagles for the first time since winning five in a row from Dec. 20, 2014 to Dec. 11, 2016.
–Field Level Media