Thursday, March 23, 2023

Why is Jalen Hurts not playing tonight? Eagles announce QB’s absence vs. Patriots

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?

MORE: Is DeVonta Smith playing in Eagles vs. Patriots game?

The Eagles quickly announced via Twitter what was going on: Hurts was sitting out the contest because of illness.

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.


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