Hurts on finger: ‘Progressing in the right way’

Sports

PHILADELPHIA — Two of the Eagles‘ star players, quarterback Jalen Hurts and receiver A.J. Brown, have injuries to monitor ahead of Monday’s wild-card playoff game at the Buccaneers.

Hurts dislocated the middle finger on his throwing hand in the regular-season finale against the Giants. Brown, meanwhile, exited late in the first quarter with a right knee injury and did not return. He was not present at the beginning of Thursday’s practice.

Hurts was, though he wore a glove on that throwing hand during the portion of practice open to the media. During that time, the only pass he threw was a very short one to fellow QB Marcus Mariota during ball-security drills.

Before that, Hurts said he hadn’t thrown a ball since Sunday’s game at New York.

“Obviously leaving that game and attempting to go back into that game probably wasn’t physically the best idea, not having much control over the things that I wanted to do,” he said. “But time will tell with that, and I can assure you things are progressing in the right way.”

Hurts’ hand collided with the hand of Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke during a pass attempt early in the second quarter. Cameras showed that his finger was displaced — Hurts later told reporters that it “popped out” — but he reentered the game after having the finger taped and testing it out on the sideline. Coach Nick Sirianni pulled Hurts and other starters before the end of the half, with the Eagles trailing 24-0 and their chances of winning the NFC East all but dashed.

Hurts conceded his finger hurt more the day after.

“Just going out there and giving my best and doing my best,” he said, when asked about his confidence level that he can play up to his standard Monday. “I told you it was a day-by-day thing. Getting the preparation in this week and doing everything I can to lead the guys.”

Receiver DeVonta Smith missed the Giants game with an ankle injury but practiced Thursday and told reporters to “count me in” for Monday night.

Cornerback Darius Slay, who has been sidelined since mid-December following surgery to repair an ailing knee, told ESPN he feels “a thousand times better” than he did before the surgery and expects to be ready for Monday.

The Eagles, who lost rookie Sydney Brown to a torn ACL on Sunday, were thin at safety to start the week with starter Reed Blankenship sidelined with a groin injury.

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