This has been a banner season for Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles as the Birds are in prime position to make a deep postseason run. The waters did get a bit choppy for Philly, however, in mid-December as Hurts went down with a shoulder injury. Eagles backers and NFL bettors in general are now wondering when will Jalen Hurts return and be back on the field? Below we will look at a timetable for Hurts’ potential return and will examine Eagles odds moving forward.
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When will Jalen Hurts return and be back on the field for Eagles?
Update: Hurts is likely to play this week against the Giants with Philadelphia looking to lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Hurts practiced with the first-team offense in Eagles practice on Jan. 4 but was limited.
One of the major NFL storylines right now centers around the question as to when will Jalen Hurts return and be back on the field for the Eagles. Philadelphia currently holds the top seed in the NFC, which is key considering No. 1 seeds get a first round bye in the playoffs. The Eagles are a sparkling 13-2 but the Vikings (12-3) and 49ers (11-4) and Cowboys (11-4) are now nipping at their heels in the standings.
Philly surely wants Hurts, who had been the favorite to win NFL MVP at the time of his injury, back in the lineup soon. But it is very much a risk versus reward game.
The primary focus is to have Hurts as close to 100 percent as possible for the team’s first playoff game come January. But the Eagles would obviously love to have the luxury of getting an extra week of rest by virtue of securing the top overall seed.
Here is what TheLines’ injury expert Will Carroll said about Hurts’ injury.
“Hurts has a very minor, very common quarterback injury, but that injury has very bad timing,” Carroll said. “It’s a mild, Grade I sprain of his acromioclavicular joint, often called the AC joint for obvious reasons. It’s the joint between the shoulder and clavicle (collarbone), and any injury to that ligament is a sprain. The injury was commonly called a shoulder separation, but you hear that less now. The normal mechanism is landing on the shoulder. Despite shoulder pads, there’s no protection from lateral forces, driving into to the shoulder. When Hurts (or anyone) lands on their shoulder, that force can push into the joint, creating more movement and a stretch on the AC ligaments.
“Like any sprain, the ligament can heal with time, but it can be painful and there’s no way to protect Hurts from another hit just like the one that hurt him in the first place,” Carroll continued. “It’s a key game coming up, but the playoffs aren’t far behind, so a week or even three if the bye is locked up would go a long way in letting Hurts be healthy for the playoffs. It shouldn’t affect his arm strength, but it could throw off his mechanics, something he’s worked diligently on since his time at Oklahoma. Hurts has often shown a ‘legs first’ strategy when he’s uncomfortable, but in this case, more running likely means more hits and more chance of re-injuring the shoulder.
“Most quarterbacks come back from this quickly and simply, but there is a recurrence risk and there’s simply no way to protect the shoulder from another hit, aside from not taking them. That will be on Nick Sirianni and the offensive line, but expect Hurts to run slightly less and to be willing to take ‘soft sacks’ to protect the shoulder.”
ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported on Dec. 28 that the Eagles are “unsure of how much Hurts’ injury will impact him when he takes the field again.”
Here is a look at Philly’s upcoming schedule.
- Sunday, January 8 Week 18: Giants at Eagles
- Saturday, January 14 – Monday, January 16: Wild Card weekend
- Saturday, January 21 – Sunday, January 22: Divisional Round
NFL betting this weekend
View NFL betting spreads for all of this weekend’s games including the Eagles’ showdown. Compare prices from the top legal sportsbooks in the US here.
It seems like eons ago but you could once get an Eagles Super Bowl price at +2200. That was the number for Philly at most sportsbooks on opening day of the 2022 – 2023 NFL season. Check out live Eagles odds, including Super Bowl price, below.