PHILADELPHIA (AP)Jalen Hurts trudged off the field in his throwback Eagles uniform wearing a knee brace and feeling all kinds of beat up.
Just not defeated.
Hurts clearly hasn’t been himself this season. The game-breaking runs have been kept in check and his eight interceptions are two more than he threw a season ago. Hurts has seemed hesitant at times, almost as if he didn’t trust himself to make the right play – and his knack for holding on to the ball has led to some of the picks and fumbles that plagued him this season.
Turns out, Hurts just may be hurt.
Whether it was the lingering effects of offseason surgery on his left ankle or a series of hard hits that took a toll, Hurts has only 274 yards rushing this season. His six scores are largely the result of the 1-yard “tush push” that has become both copied and reviled around the league.
In the second half of a 31-17 victory over Miami, Hurts played with a brace on his left knee yet still led the Eagles on a go-ahead drive – after first throwing a tying pick-6. Never one to say much anyway, Hurts was mum on his health afterward and offered not much more than an “I’ll be fine” ahead of Sunday’s game against Washington.
Hurts gutted out the knee injury and threw for 279 yards and combined for three scores.
“Seemed like he was in good spirits and good today,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said Monday. “We’ll see later in the week of how he’s feeling and everything. I know that he battled through being uncomfortable (against Miami). He can answer some of those questions as far as how he felt and all those different things.”
As Hurts goes, so go the Eagles. They started 13-1 last season before Hurts sprained his right shoulder and they lost two straight games. He returned in the finale and led the Eagles to a win over the Giants and the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
The defense could not have been better as it shut down the NFL’s top-ranked offense.
Give the bulk of the credit to defensive coordinator Sean Desai.
The Eagles limited Miami’s offense to season lows in points scored (17), total yards (244), passing yards (199), rushing yards (45) and time of possession (23:17). Entering the game, the Dolphins led the league in points per game, total offense, passing offense, rushing offense and red-zone offense. The Dolphins did not convert in their lone red-zone opportunity.
Tyreek Hill was held to 11 catches for 88 yards and had only three receptions in the second half.
WHAT’S WORKING II
The Eagles traded for two-time All-Pro safety Kevin Byard on Monday to help a banged-up secondary hours after beating the NFL’s best offense, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
The Eagles are sending safety Terrell Edmunds to the Tennessee Titans, along with fifth- and sixth-round draft picks in 2024, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the trade has not been announced.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
There wasn’t too much to complain about in this one. D’Andre Swift had 62 yards on 15 carries and Kenneth Gainwell didn’t do much until he sealed the game late with a 3-yard TD run.
A.J. Brown is well on pace to have a better year than last season, when he set the team record with 1,496 yards receiving. He is having one of the best seasons for any Eagles player, at any position. Brown had 10 catches for 137 yards against the Dolphins. In his previous four games, he had 131 yards, 127, 175 and 131.
Brown became the second NFL player since the 1970 merger to record 125-plus receiving yards in five consecutive games, joining Detroit’s Calvin Johnson in 2012. Brown also joined Terrell Owens in 2004 as the only Eagles receiver since the merger with five straight games of 100-plus receiving yards in a single season.
All the Eagles get a bye here.
All eyes are on Hurts. As for how much Hurts practices the rest of the week, Sirianni said, “Got to talk to the trainers, talk to Jalen.”
6 – Perhaps inspired by their throwback Kelly green jerseys, or feeling good with Bradley Cooper and Mike Trout at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles won their sixth straight home game, including the playoffs. It’s Philadelphia’s longest home winning streak since it won nine straight over the 2016-2017 seasons.
The Eagles hit the road for a rematch with the Commanders. Jake Elliott kicked a 54-yard field goal in overtime to lift Philadelphia to a 34-31 victory over Washington at the Linc on Oct. 1.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi and AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker contributed to this report.
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