Since MVP frontrunner and starting quarterback Jalen Hurts has a sprained right shoulder, it looks like the Philadelphia Eagles (13-1) will go with backup Gardner Minshew in their biggest game of the year on Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys (10-4).
Hurts got hurt in the third quarter of Sunday’s 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears. Defensive tackle Trevis Gipson pushed him down on the cold Soldier Field grass. He stayed in the game and, on the next play, threw a pass to DeVonta Smith on an out route.
He then threw a long pass to wide receiver A.J. Brown. Here’s what happens to Minshew and the Eagles if Hurts is ruled out for Week 16.
How concerned are the Eagles about Hurts missing time?
The Eagles’ NovaCare Complex doesn’t have any alarm bells going off about Hurts’ long-term availability, which is good news. From the team’s point of view, any time he has to miss will be used to get his throwing arm back to full strength and functionality before the playoffs.
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The Eagles have a lot of room to move because they only need to win one of their last three games of the season to get the top spot in the NFC. ESPN Analytics said that as of Monday, they had a 99.7% chance of getting the No. 1 seed in the NFC and a bye.
But they don’t want any trouble. If they beat Dallas on Sunday, they will be in, and coach Nick Sirianni will be able to rest starters as he wants for the last two weeks.
What does Philly want Gardner Minshew to do?
Minshew’s main job might be to make sure that Philadelphia is in a good spot to make the playoffs. Minshew has shown that he can do his job well on the spot.
Last December, Hurts started in place of an injured quarterback and went 20 for 25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-18 win over the New York Jets.
Since his last big game, the team has gotten better, and Brown (1,201 yards receiving, 10 touchdowns) is playing like a top receiver. Tight-end Dallas Goedert could play in this game even though he hurt his shoulder in the last one.
— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) December 19, 2022
Minshew can play point guard without having to worry about taking on too much. He works behind one of the best offensive lines in football and with one of the best skill position groups.
How will the Cowboys’ defense make things hard for Minshew?
Even so, Minshew’s likely first game of the season will be against a bad team. The Cowboys are second in the NFL in pass defence (191.6 yards per game), first in takeaways (26), and second in sacks (49). He’ll have a lot to do.
“I think they’re the best pass-rush unit in the league,” right tackle Lane Johnson said. “[Linebacker] Micah Parsons is a dynamic player. [Defensive ends] DeMarcus Lawrence, Sam Williams, all those guys across the board. So they’re no joke. They play hard, they play well.”
Is Minshew a good fill-in quarterback?
Hurts has been doing an MVP-level job. His skill as a runner (he has 13 rush touchdowns, which is just one less than Cam Newton, the all-time leader for quarterbacks in a single season) has made it hard for defenses to stop him and his improvement as a passer (his 67.3% completion rate is up from 61.3% in 2021) has made the Eagles’ offense very powerful.
Still, Minshew is in a good place to do well. The offensive line is seventh in pass-blocking win rate (64 percent). Brown (first, 94 ratings) and Smith (twelfth, 77 ratings) are the highest-rated receiver duo in the league, according to ESPN’s ratings.
Luckily the Eagles backup quarterback is Tua Tagovailoa. https://t.co/J4452TNIOc
— Joe DiBiase (@SneakyJoeSports) December 19, 2022
Running back Miles Sanders is fifth in rushing yards (1,110) and rushing touchdowns (11) and the defense is first in pass-rush win rate (53 percent), sacks (55), and interceptions (15).
Nothing this year can take away from what Hurts has done. But Minshew, who is 26 years old, has shown that he can do the job with 41 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and 22 starts in his career. And he’s never had a better group of people around him.
Who is the Eagles’ backup quarterback to Jalen Hurts?
After the Philadelphia Eagles’ win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday, quarterback Jalen Hurts hurt his shoulder. According to the Philly Voice, he got x-rays after the game and is now thought to have an injury that might keep him out of a game but is not thought to be a long-term problem.
The Eagles have already made it into the playoffs, and now they are trying to get the top spot in the NFC. If Hurts can’t play against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16, Minshew will probably take his place.
The eagles backup quarterback is gonna go into Dallas and beat the cowboys. It’s fate, destiny, and going to happen. Birds by 90.
— Luke troxell (@loutroxell) December 19, 2022
Minshew started his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2021, he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. He has played in three games so far this season and has completed two passes for 34 yards.
Ian Book, who hasn’t played in any games this season, is the third choice for the third string. In 2021, the last time Minshew started against the Cowboys, he completed 19 of 33 passes for 186 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.
The score was 51–26. On Saturday, Dec. 24, the game will start at 4:25 p.m. ET… Follow us only on Lee Daily for more news like this.