Jalen Hurts was expected to make his second preseason start for the Eagles on Thursday night. Instead, veteran backup Joe Flacco took the field with Philadelphia’s first-team offense.
That led to questions from Eagles fans. Did Philly’s coaching staff want to see Flacco work with the 1s after performing well in Week 1 of the preseason? Or is Hurts dealing with an injury?
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The Eagles quickly announced via Twitter what was going on: Hurts was sitting out the contest because of illness.
Participation Update: QB Jalen Hurts will not be playing tonight due to an illness.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 19, 2021
NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported minutes later that the team said the illness was not COVID-19-related. That indicates Hurts probably won’t be out long term.
The Eagles’ first drive didn’t go well without Hurts. Backup center Nate Herbig launched a snap over Flacco’s head on the third play from scrimmage. Flacco recovered the loose ball, but then Matt Judon strip-sacked him. Patriots safety Jalen Mills recovered Flacco’s fumble to give New England possession at the Philadelphia 9.
Two plays later, Damien Harris finished the short drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.