NFL

Jalen Hurts’ preseason-opener playing time vs. Steelers relies on his performance

Jalen Hurts Eagles
Jalen Hurts
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly one month until the Philadelphia Eagles kick off their 2021 season and the starting quarterback job is still Jalen Hurts’ to lose.

The second-year passer who provided the final push of running Carson Wentz out of town only has four career starts under his belt with veteran Joe Flacco — whose better days are far behind him‚ and career backup Nick Mullens providing a support system; if you’d like to call it that.

Thursday night will be the first time Eagles fans will get to see Hurts directing the first-team offense since the end of a nightmare 2020 season that led to a revamp in culture that was headlined by the dismissal of Doug Pederson.

He was replaced by Nick Sirianni, who is even keeping his preseason cards close to the vest — including just how long Hurts will play against the Steelers.

Actually, it’s really up to Hurts.

“We’re still talking through that every day,” Sirianni said. “Everybody’s in a little bit different scenario, so for me to say, ‘Hey, the starters are playing this many [reps],’ we’ve discussed everybody and everybody has their own little scenario that they’re doing. So expect everybody to play, for the most part.”

If Hurts and the Eagles offense struggles, Sirianni will be more inclined to leave them out longer. But if they come out guns blazing, you might only see them for a series or two.

“That’s why I don’t want to tell you guys, ‘This is how many series,’” he continued. “If we go out and have a seven-play [touchdown] drive, then we reevaluate, just like we do in a game. If we go 3-and-out, then we reevaluate. Everything is on a sliding scale.

“I don’t want to tell you, ‘This is our plan,’ because that could change. Things change every single day.”

What won’t change is that the Eagles offense won’t show much of its 2021 game plan. So don’t expect anything fancy or too out of the ordinary on Thursday night.

“One of the things that we have to our advantage is that nobody really knows what we’re running,” Sirianni said. “To say we’re going to show everything on Thursday or the following preseason games? That’s just not going to be the case. That’s an advantage that we have that other staffs don’t because we don’t have any tape out there of us.”

Eagles vs. Steelers preseason odds

  • Spread: Eagles -1
  • Steelers Moneyline: +110
  • Eagles Moneyline: -130

Odds courtesy of DraftKings

More from our Sister Sites