When the Dallas Cowboys face the NFC-leading Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, the Eagles might be missing one of their star players.
Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts is reportedly questionable for Saturday’s game with a shoulder sprain that he suffered on a play in the third quarter of Sunday’s win against the Bears, according to ESPN.
But Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni is not ruling out Hurts just yet.
“I don’t put anything past Jalen Hurts as far as his physical and mental toughness,” he told reporters Tuesday. “There’s a chance he can play this week … We will play him when he’s ready to play. If that’s this week, it’s this week. If it’s next week, it’s next week. When Jalen’s ready to play, he’s ready to play.”
Hurts is in the middle of an MVP-caliber season and was the favorite to win the award before the injury, according to Caesars Sportsbook. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is now considered the favorite.
The third-year player out of Oklahoma took hold of the starting job in Philadelphia last season and has been exceeding expectations. In 15 games last season, he threw for 3,144 yards, 16 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while running for an additional 784 yards and ten touchdowns.
Through 14 games this season, he has already bested most of those numbers and has tied Randall Cunningham for the most total touchdowns in a season by an Eagles’ quarterback with 35.
Hurts’ injury is not considered long-term, and backup quarterback Gardner Minshew would make the start.
While not nearly as much of a running threat as Hurts, Minshew still has some mobility in his game. He has started 22 games throughout his four-year career in Jacksonville and Philadelphia, has an 8-14 record, and has thrown for over 6,000 yards, 41 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said his team is ready for either quarterback.
“We already looked at our last game with Gardner,” he said in a media session on Tuesday, referring to last year’s regular-season finale. “We’ll be ready for Gardner or Jalen.”
If Hurts cannot play, that would mean both matchups between the Cowboys and Eagles this year featured a team starting a backup quarterback. Dallas backup Cooper Rush started the previous meeting in Week 6 because Dak Prescott was out with a broken thumb on his throwing hand.
The Eagles may also be getting a key offensive player back from injury this weekend. Tight end Dallas Goedert — who had been on injured reserve since November 16 with a shoulder injury — was activated by Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Goedert had 544 receiving yards and three touchdown catches before his injury. He is currently eighth among all tight ends in receiving yards despite missing the last five games.
While Philadelphia has activated him, it is still unknown whether Goedert will be officially available on Saturday.
The Eagles won the Week 6 matchup 26-17 and are 13-1 on the season. A win for Philadelphia on Saturday would clinch them the NFC East title and the top seed in the NFC playoffs.
The Cowboys (10-4) have clinched a playoff spot, but an upset would keep their outside chances at winning the division alive.