According to Derrick Gunn, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts will be sidelined tomorrow with an ankle injury.
Prior to this, Hurts had been listed as questionable by the team after picking up the injury in the loss to the New York Giants last Sunday. The good news is that the setback appears to be minor and with a bye week on the horizon, Hurts should have plenty of time to nurse it back to full health just in time for the final stanza.
In the meantime, Gardner Minshew will hold the fort and make his first start as the Eagles’ quarterback.
Who is Gardner Minshew?
Minshew was acquired by the Eagles in a trade earlier this season. It’s easy to forget that he’s still a young signal caller himself, having only played in 20 games up to this point. In 2019, he ended up winning six of his twelve starts, throwing for 3,271 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, completing 60% of his passes. He also rushed for 344 yards.
Minshew’s rise to prominence was beyond exciting and prompted the team to trade Foles to Chicago, safe in the knowledge that they have something in the second-year signal-caller.
He started out the 2020 season hot with a win over the Colts, but it would only get colder from then on. The Jags failed to win another game and a thumb fracture in week 7 cut his season to just nine games. His completion percentage did rise to 66%, and his 16-5 TD/INT ratio was impressive.
The drafting of Trevor Lawrence pushed Minshew out in the cold, until Nick Sirianni invited him to warmer pastures.
The right time?
To say that Jalen Hurts has struggled over the past month would be an accurate statement. The Eagles have barely asked him to throw the ball and when he has, the results have been beyond sporadic. While the offense is built on the run and thriving at the moment, there’s a case to be made that eventually, Hurts is going to have to throw the ball and his flaws have not changed over the course of the year.
Gardner Minshew will step into an offense that’s predicated on the run. But if he can prove to be even mildly competent as a passer and make some of the tougher touch-passes that Hurts struggles to, it may serve as an early sign for Howie Roseman that this offense is a legitimate quarterback away from contending again. Conversely, a bad performance, may help him realize that what the Eagles have in Hurts is worth remaining patient for.
If Minshew balls out and MinshewMania erupts throughout the City of Brotherly Love, it might be hard to stop. The Eagles have been without reliable quarterback play for two years now. That’s not to say that benching Hurts for Minshew would be the go-to long-term decision, but it allows Hurts to recover from his injury at the rate he needs, while also allowing the coaching staff and front office to see what the offense could look like with a slightly more confident pocket passer.
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