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Jalen Hurts OUT, Gardner Minshew will start Week 16 vs. Cowboys

The Eagles are heading into a massive showdown with the Cowboys in Week 16 and Jalen Hurts is dealing with a sprained shoulder.

Philadelphia Eagles v Chicago Bears
Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 18, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles continue to push for the No. 1 seed in the NFC behind an impressive season from their offense, specifically quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts has been the MVP frontrunner for much of the season but it only takes one play to derail everything in the NFL. And that play may have occurred in Week 15 in Chicago against the Bears.

Jalen Hurts injury updates

Thursday update — Nick Siranni tells reporters that Jalen Hurts is out and that Gardner Minshew will start against the Cowboyss on Saturday, per Tim McManus.

Wednesday PM update — Hurts was listed as not practicing on the injury report.

Wednesday update: The team continues to say that Hurts has not been ruled out and has a chance to play, but Hurts also wasn’t practicing Tuesday or Wednesday. He wasn’t spotted at practice on Wednesday, per Jeff McClane. Gardner Minshew was practicing and signs continue to point toward him leading the way this week while the team tries to convince the Cowboys that Hurts might still play.

Tuesday update: Nick Siriani talked to reporters and didn’t rule out Hurts playing this week despite reports. It still feels unlikely the Eagles would force Hurts into the lineup this week. Philly really just needs one more win to clinch the division and No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Eagles have games against Dallas, New Orleans and the Giants left on the schedule. Even if Hurts doesn’t come back for the rest of the regular season, the Eagles can still clinch and have him ready to go for the playoffs. The worst case seems to be Hurts either coming back early or not being ready until later in the postseason. With the bye, the Eagles would have plenty of time to get Hurts healthy.

Monday update: Hurts could end up missing the next two games with a chance they shut him down for the final three games of the season, per Jeff McLane. This report sure makes it seem like a foregone conclusion that Hurts won’t play this week at the very least. The Eagles just need one win to wrap up the No. 1 seed and backup Gardner Minshew should be able to win one of their last three games. It’s also worth noting the sprain is on Hurts’ throwing shoulder, so there will be some pain management he’ll have to deal with. There was no broken bones or major damage, so Hurts avoided a big-time issue but he’ll likely need a week or two to rest the shoulder given the workload it has during a game.

The Eagles quarterback officially has a sprained shoulder. Hurts did appear to take a few bad hits in the contest and did momentarily go down after one particular play, but completed the contest and didn’t appear to have any major problems. He even lofted a big 68-yard pass to A.J. Brown as part of the drive to seal the game. The initial line at DraftKings Sportsbook for this Week 16 game was Cowboys -1.5 but it has moved to Cowboys -5. Only a quarterback can move a line like that, so speculation is rampant on Hurts’ availability. He’s officially uncertain to play, and practice reports during the week will tell us more.

Fantasy football advice

If Hurts can’t play or is limited in any way, every Eagles skill player loses some value outside of running back Miles Sanders. However, all Philadelphia players would still be worth starting if Hurts is the quarterback in this game.

Playoff implications

This has massive playoff implications depending on the severity of the injury. The Eagles have already clinched a playoff spot but they can still lose out on the top seed. If Hurts is out, the Eagles will be underdogs against the Cowboys and Giants. They should still be favored over the Saints. If Hurts only misses one week, the Eagles are still the frontrunners for the No. 1 seed. In fact, Philadelphia only needs one win in the last three games to clinch the top seed.