Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni has finally decided who will be their starting quarterback for the 2021 NFL season, and to no one’s surprise, it is Jalen Hurts. Sirianni made the announcement on Tuesday after the Eagles roster was trimmed down to 53 players.
Sirianni hands Hurts starting job
Sirianni explained to reporters the importance of having a competition at every position, saying he wanted Hurts to take the reins and take advantage of the opportunity he got this preseason. Sirianni believes Hurts did that as he saw a player who got better every day in terms of his reads, accuracy, and ability to run. Sirianni voiced his approval of Hurts ahead of the Eagles’ season opener, saying, “Jalen’s our starter. He’s done a great job.”
Hurts being handed QB1 status was the expected outcome as the Eagles gave all of their first-team reps to him during their training camp. That being said, uncertainty arose when reports surfaced last month of the Eagles having an interest in Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. They then acquired Gardner Minshew in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, fueling speculation that Hurts’ starting position was not set in stone.
Sirianni has laid those rumors to rest, making Hurts the Eagles’ starting quarterback in their Week 1 clash against the Atlanta Falcons. Some are questioning, however, Hurts’ limited action during Philadelphia’s preseason campaign.
Hurts ended up playing a total of just ten snaps during this preseason, recording seven passes and only three completions. Hurts started Philadelphia’s opening preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and played in just two series before he and the rest of the Eagles’ starters were replaced.
After suffering a stomach ailment, hurts didn’t play in the Eagles’ preseason game against the New England Patriots. In Philadelphia’s preseason finale against the New York Jets, he was also missing in action, with the Eagles deciding to rest all of their starters.
Will Hurts’ lack of playing time in preseason affect him in Week 1?
Hurts’ lack of playing time during the preseason is somewhat surprising given that the 23-year-old has just four career NFL starts under his belt. Eighteen healthy starting quarterbacks played during this year’s preseason, majority of whom played more snaps than Hurts’ 10 with the Eagles.
Topping the list was Jacksonville Jaguars’ rookie Trevor Lawrence, who played a whopping 65 snaps. Hurts’ former Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa came in second, playing 60 snaps with the Dolphins. Surprisingly, Patrick Mahomes came in third with 51 snaps played as the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t hold him back at all this preseason.
Even 44-year-old veteran and seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady played more snaps than Hurts this preseason. Brady played in two of the Bucs’ three preseason games and logged in more minutes than Hurts. We’ll find out soon enough if the Eagles’ decision to limit Hurts this preseason was indeed the right one.
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