Friday, January 13, 2023

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts Sends Strong Message, Honoring Fan-Favorite Legend

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts always knows what he’s doing, especially when the cameras are off. The injured starter finally broke a two-week silence on Thursday and asked questions about the ongoing pain in his strained right throwing shoulder.

Yes, Hurts was in pain, but let’s not focus on that. The mature 24-year-old hosted a PR masterclass outside his locker, swarming with reporters like drunken mosquitoes. The reassuring smile on his face was matched only by the shirt attached to his bound body.

Hurts echoed Philly harshly wears two Kobe Bryants on his chest, with both wearing Kobe Bryant’s No. 5 Donovan McNabb jerseys. No surprise. Hurts lives the mamba mentality and maybe channels it even harder now that adversity has hit him hard. Then Hurts tried to calm everyone’s fears: “I feel better … We have a golden opportunity.”

The Eagles started with Gardner Minshew as a backup against the Cowboys and Saints before throwing Hurts back out in the Week 18 regular-season finals. He led them to a 22-16 win, but it wasn’t the finest performance. Then, Nick Sirianni put the entire region on high alert when he revealed the double threat quarterback was actually sore. Everyone has been on pins and needles for five straight days.

So how big is Hurt’s own concern about his injured shoulder?

“It’s good that there’s a bye week,” Hurts told reporters via The questioner. “I just take it every day. I think the whole world knows I’m dealing with something.”

Unconvinced? Hurts wasn’t either, so he doubled on the team.

“I think there’s a lot of time for us to grow as a team,” Hurts told Dave Spadaro. “I think when challenges and different things are thrown in front of you, ultimately you have to find a way to overcome them. We still want to achieve a lot as a team, so that’s good for us.”

The general public (read: Eagles fans) might panic over Hurts’ rusty arm, but his teammates don’t seem to be worried. All-Pro center Jason Kelce has shared a locker room with Hurts for three straight years. One thing he knows, Hurts never doubts himself or his body.

“I think he will be fine. He has a few more weeks here to recover,” Kelce said via NBC Sports’ John Clark. “He’s not a guy who wears that on his sleeve. He’s a competitor. He always has that aura about him that he can do whatever he wants.”

Brandon Graham gave a refreshingly honest answer after the Sunday game when asked about Nick Sirianni’s actions. He hammered home the point that nobody appreciates the small details and stubborn fundamentals necessary to gain more than the Eagles head coach. He even referenced Doug Pederson in his comments, giving Sirianni the edge in that department. Perhaps Sirianni heard the quote because the first thing he said in regards to playoff prep was “basics.”

“One thing I can say, I will say, is that fundamentals are going to play a big part in winning the playoffs,” Sirianni said. “Like what we think it’s really like in the regular season, right? basics. This player is a good player, this player is a good player, this coach will name a good game, this coach will name a good game. What matters is your fundamentals.”

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