PHILADELPHIA — With MVP front-runner and beginning quarterback Jalen Hurts coping with a proper shoulder sprain, indicators are pointing to backup Gardner Minshew getting the nod for the Philadelphia Eagles (13-1) of their largest recreation of the yr in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys (10-4) on Saturday.
Hurts sustained the damage in the course of the third quarter of Sunday’s 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears when he was pushed into the chilly Soldier Discipline turf by defensive deal with Trevis Gipson. He remained within the recreation and linked with DeVonta Smith on an out route on the very subsequent play. Later, he hit extensive receiver A.J. Brown on a protracted ball.
If Hurts is dominated out for Week 16, here is what it means for Minshew and the Eagles.
How fearful are the Eagles about Hurts lacking time?
Thankfully, there are not any alarm bells ringing contained in the Eagles’ NovaCare Complicated about Hurts’ long-term availability. From the crew’s perspective, any missed time can be about getting power and performance in his throwing arm again to 100% for the playoffs.
The Eagles have loads of wiggle room, needing only one win over their remaining three common season video games to safe the highest seed within the NFC. They entered Monday with a 99.7% likelihood to complete with the No. 1 seed within the NFC and a bye in keeping with ESPN Analytics.
However they’d wish to keep away from any drama. A win over Dallas Sunday locks them in and permits coach Nick Sirianni to relaxation starters for the ultimate two weeks as he sees match.
What would Philly wish to see from Gardner Minshew?
Minshew’s main job may be to safe Philadelphia’s positioning for that playoff run.
Minshew has confirmed greater than succesful in spot obligation. Final December throughout a begin for the injured Hurts in opposition to the New York Jets, he went 20-of-25 for 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 33-18 win. The roster has been upgraded since his final significant motion, with Brown (1,201 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns) enjoying like a prime receiver. Tight finish Dallas Goedert has an opportunity to return from a shoulder damage for this one, too.
Working behind top-of-the-line offensive strains in soccer and alongside one of many higher ability place teams, Minshew can play level guard and does not have to fret about taking an excessive amount of on his personal shoulders.
What sort of problem will the Cowboys protection current for Minshew?
The opponent for Minshew’s seemingly first begin of the season, granted, is lower than splendid. The Cowboys have the second-best go protection within the NFL (191.6 yards per recreation), are tops in takeaways (26) and second in sacks with 49. He’ll have his fingers full.
“I think they’re the best pass-rush unit in the league,” proper deal with Lane Johnson stated. “[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 an efficient QB stopgap?
Hurts has been acting at an MVP clip. His prowess as a runner (he has 13 rush touchdowns, only one behind the all-time single-season chief for quarterbacks, Cam Newton) has made life onerous on defenses whereas his enhancements as a passer (67.3% completion fee, up from 61.3% in 2021) have made the Eagles offense explosive.
Nonetheless, Minshew is about up effectively for fulfillment. The offensive line ranks seventh in pass-block win fee (64 %); Brown (first, 94 ranking) and Smith (twelfth, 77 ranking) are the highest-rated receiver combo within the league, per ESPN’s metrics; operating again Miles Sanders is fifth in rush yards (1,110) and rush touchdowns (11); and the protection is tops in go rush win fee (53 %), sacks (55) and interceptions (15).
Nothing can take away from Hurts’ accomplishments this yr. However with 41 profession touchdowns to 12 interceptions and 22 begins underneath his belt, the 26-year-old Minshew has confirmed that he can get the job achieved. And he is by no means been higher arrange when it comes to a supporting forged.