Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was expected to start and play against the New England Patriots on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field, but after he went through warmups, the Eagles decided to keep him out.
After the game, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni explained what happened.
“He came in and wasn’t feeling great,” Sirianni said. “We put him through pregame warmups. He wanted to go out there and go through pregame warmups. He came back in and still wasn’t feeling good. We evaluated him, and we just decided it wasn’t in his best interest to play with what he was feeling. We evaluated him. He is fine now. He is doing okay now, but that is why we held him out…
“He actually went to the hospital to get evaluated for his stomach. Like I said, came back, everything is good, and he is going to be okay.”
According to Sirianni, the pain had to be bad for Hurts not to play.
“He’s a tough guy, so it must have been hurting him pretty good for him to let us know about that,” Sirianni said.
Without Hurts, Philadelphia went with veteran QB Joe Flacco. The Eagles, who had joint practices with the Patriots this week, rested many of their starters on Thursday night and were blown out by New England 35-0.
However, a bright spot for Philly was the debut of rookie WR DeVonta Smith.
The number 10 overall pick, who missed time due to a knee injury, caught two passes for 19 yards. Smith had a couple of drops, but he was happy to be out on the field.
“It felt good just to get out there and get back in a groove with my routine before the game and stuff like that,” he said. “Just to get back out there and get back to myself.”
Flacco tried to connect with Smith on a deep pass in the second quarter, but it appeared he misjudged the ball in the air.
“Yes, I took too long to look back at the ball,” Smith said. “That is a great throw by [Eagles QB] Joe [Flacco] and I have to do my part.”
Sirianni added on Smith’s performance: “Yeah, you know, looked like he was a little antsy at first. Dropped a couple balls, and he was a little late with his eyes on the deep ball that [QB] Joe [Flacco] threw him. He made a couple plays there. That’s what happens with young wideouts. They have to play and go through the ups and downs a little bit, and the preseason is for that to happen. He ran a good route on that return route on a third down. Thought he ran a couple other good routes, too. Again, we will look at the tape to see totally how he played, but I’m glad he got in there and was able to play a good, meaningful first half and take a couple hits and have to go against some of those tight coverage looks he had to get.”
The Eagles get back at it next Friday when they travel to MetLife Stadium to battle the Jets in their final preseason game, and as they did with New England, Philadelphia will have joint practices with New York next week, so the Eagles may keep a few starters out against the Jets.