Sports

What Eagles gain by starting Gardner Minshew vs. Cowboys — beyond resting Jalen Hurts

What Eagles gain by starting Gardner Minshew vs. Cowboys — beyond resting Jalen Hurts

It can maybe be foolhardy for the Eagles to maintain quarterback Jalen Hurts in uniform Saturday evening.

Eagles coach Gash Sirianni said Thursday that Hurts is quiet facing the high ankle sprain that he suffered in opposition to the Giants on Nov. 28. That brought on him to miss one sport, restricted his running ability within the following two sooner than Hurts ran for 44 yards final Sunday in opposition to Washington.

Integrated in these eight carries in opposition to Washington was one where Hurts planted his foot, gash interior, and resembling an Allen Iverson crossover dribble, left the Washington linebacker greedy at air.

It regarded cherish Hurts was abet to 100%, but then he was restricted in be conscious the major two days sooner than practicing fully on Thursday. He is officially listed as eligible to play Saturday.

“Peaceable the ankle,” Sirianni said. “Nothing contemporary came about within the (Washington) sport. Peaceable getting better from that ankle that he suffered in opposition to the Giants, so as that’s why he’s on the damage portray.”

The Eagles might maybe maybe now no longer derive valuable in their playoff anguish by winning the sport. They can maintain a road playoff sport the following weekend in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys or Arizona Cardinals. All are either 12-4 or 11-5.

And the Eagles play first, so it be now no longer cherish they’ll boom a matchup in opposition to a lesser opponent by winning.

PLANTING SEEDS: From Coach Flower Pot to Coach of the Year? How Gash Sirianni made Eagles a playoff crew

PLAY OR REST?: Eagles subtly ticket knowing for Jalen Hurts, Lane Johnson, others vs. Cowboys

So flip the crew over to Gardner Minshew and let him ticket what he can terminate, and give Hurts’ ankle another week to rest so he’s ready for the playoff sport subsequent weekend.

Heck, if the Eagles were so inclined to repeat their Nate Sudfeld anguish from the finale final yr, let third string quarterback Reid Sinnett play the fourth quarter. As a minimum this time there might maybe maybe now no longer be any blowback since the Cowboys clinched the NFC East two weeks ago.

Last yr, the Eagles replaced Hurts with Sudfeld within the fourth quarter in opposition to Washington. The Eagles were trailing by three functions at the time and ended up shedding 20-14. That enabled Washington to steal the NFC East, and averted the Giants from doing so.

And let’s trusty advise that Giants coach Joe Bear wasn’t chuffed. One yr later, that’s the least of his complications heading into the season finale with a 4-12 file.

We already noticed Minshew shine within the Dec. 5 sport in opposition to the Jets when he performed 20 of 25 passes for 242 yards within the Eagles’ 33-18 steal.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) warms up before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) warms up sooner than an NFL football sport in opposition to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Portray/Rich Schultz)

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported final week that Minshew approached Sirianni after the Jets sport and asked him what it will maybe maybe dangle to change into the starter. Sirianni reportedly told Minshew what he told the media after that sport – that Hurts would remain the starter.

When asked about that Thursday, Sirianni said: “I impact now no longer are looking out to portray the rest or talk about any conversations that I had with any participant in my place of job. That’s a dialog between myself and that participant.”

Then he added: “However I will advise about Gardner, he is a competitor. He is locked in, whether he’s the backup, whether he takes half in. He is been in each cases this yr … The fellow is going to prepare cherish loopy, it is now no longer valuable what the anguish, and he’s aggressive.

“For certain, each backup that we now maintain got on this crew, within the occasion that they didn’t are looking out to be the starter, I would maintain a discipline with them being the backup.”

Minshew is a good backup. If he performs smartly ample Saturday, in all likelihood some crew will dangle a extensive gamble on him as a starter and commerce an early-spherical draft derive to the Eagles.

Despite every little thing, the Eagles twice traded backup quarterbacks for 2nd-spherical picks, first with A.J. Feeley to the Dolphins in 2004, after which in 2011 with Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals.

Minshew is extra healthy ready to originate than Feeley and Kolb were. He has 20 occupation starts with Jacksonville in 2019 and 2020. The truth is, he’s better than at the least a handful of latest beginning quarterbacks within the NFL.

Despite the truth that he’s now no longer a crew’s quarterback of the future, he’s completely a ample placeholder. And a sport in opposition to the Cowboys might maybe maybe completely persuade some crew to comprehend the tumble.

Eagles' Greg Ward (84) scores a touchdown against the Giants Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Eagles’ Greg Ward (84) scores a touchdown in opposition to the Giants Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Who’s the emergency QB?

It’s continuously enjoyable to surprise who the Eagles’ emergency quarterback would be. Despite every little thing, the Eagles easiest maintain two quarterbacks on the sport-day roster for every sport, even supposing it be probably they might maybe maybe maintain all three on Saturday in Hurts, Minshew and Sinnett.

However the Eagles even maintain two a hit college quarterbacks on their roster in wide receiver Greg Ward and tight live Tyree Jackson.

At Houston, Ward threw for 8,704 yards, performed 67.5% of his passes and threw 52 TD passes in opposition to 26 interceptions. At Buffalo, Jackson threw for six,999 yards, performed 55.8% of his passes with 49 TDs and 24 INTs.

In three seasons, Ward has attempted 2 passes, polishing off 1 for 15 yards. That came in 2020. His other strive came in opposition to San Francisco in Week 2.

Jackson is in his first NFL season, and he overlooked the major eight games with a abet damage. He has yet to take a pass, now no longer to claim throw one.

When asked who might maybe be the emergency QB, Ward replied with fun: “For certain it’d be me. In most cases we trusty maintain silly questions, and trusty mess with each other about that, trusty tease each other about who was basically the most easy quarterback and who can terminate what better.”

Ward was then asked what he thinks about Jackson as a quarterback: “I don’t mediate he’s better than me, but I mediate he’s moderately shapely.”

Each, on the other hand, will maintain to be busy at their traditional positions within the traditional-season finale.

At tight live, each Dallas Goedert and Jack Stoll are on the COVID list as of Friday morning. At wide receiver, it be probably that starters DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins will glance a reduced purpose.

Jackson said he’ll be ready.

“When I build my hand within the ground, I’m blocking, I’m running down on kickoff, I’m on kickoff return, these items,” he said. “I’m fully sold into having the mindset of tight live.”

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) warms up before the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) warms up sooner than the major half of an NFL football sport in opposition to the Philadelphia Eagles in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021.

Prediction

The Eagles quiet had 12 gamers on the COVID list, including starters Fletcher Cox, Rodney McLeod, Jason Kelce and Avonte Maddox.

Whereas these gamers have not been dominated out, the Eagles might maybe maybe now no longer maintain running abet Miles Sanders (damaged hand). Besides to Kelce, beginning moral kind out Lane Johnson and beginning left guard Landon Dickerson are listed as questionable even supposing neither practiced the least bit this week.

As for the Cowboys, star linebacker Micah Parsons, left kind out Tyron Smith and cornerback Anthony Brown were placed on the COVID list Thursday. Besides, star cornerback Trevon Diggs, safety Jayron Kearse and running abet Tony Pollard are listed as questionable.

It’s hard to see quarterback Dak Prescott, running abet Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Amari Cooper taking half in valuable, or the least bit.

So maintain in mind this cherish a preseason sport, when the starters are resting, and the deep reserves and be conscious-squad gamers getting their moment to shine.

In that regard, Minshew is a nearer backup quarterback than Cooper Bustle. Past that, who’s conscious of?

Gain: Eagles 24, Cowboys 20

Contact Martin Frank at mfrank@delawareonline.com. Discover on Twitter @Mfranknfl.

This text originally regarded on Delaware News Journal: Eagles maintain valuable to derive by beginning Gardner Minshew vs. Cowboys