Philadelphia Eagles rookie Jalen Hurts getting first-team reps at QB: ESPN sources

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Sunday, November 29, 2020
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PHILADELPHIA -- Rookie Jalen Hurts has been getting first-team reps at quarterback ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles' Monday Night Football game against the Seattle Seahawks, sources told ESPN.

Carson Wentz is still expected to start, but there's been a noticeable increase in Hurts' snaps with the first team at QB, signaling the likelihood of a more expansive role as Wentz's struggles continue.

Hurts, the team's second-round pick in April, has been used primarily as a gadget player to date, with just two of his 31 snaps resulting in him throwing a pass. But signs point to more opportunities with the ball in his hands Monday night.

Coach Doug Pederson hesitated last week when asked about potentially making a quarterback change before ultimately saying Wentz would remain the starter.

Wentz is in the midst of his worst season as a pro. He is first among all players in interceptions (14), fumbles (10) and sacks (40), ranks 32nd in completion percentage (58.4), 31st in yards per attempt (6.2) and has the worst off-target percentage (23%) among all qualifiers, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Pederson has been asked increasingly about making a change to Hurts, who racked up 52 touchdowns last season for Oklahoma (32 passing, 20 rushing) and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting behind Joe Burrow. A move to Hurts on a long-term basis is complicated by Wentz's contract situation. The Eagles signed Wentz to a four-year, $128 million extension last summer. He carries a dead cap hit of nearly $60 million in 2021, per Spotrac, a number that falls to $39.5 million in the 2022 offseason.

The 3-6-1 Eagles need a spark on offense after matching a season low with 17 points each of the past two weeks. Owner Jeffrey Lurie skipped last week's game at the Cleveland Browns, sources confirmed. A team spokesman said it was out of caution prior to visiting his mother on Thanksgiving, but sources believe his absence was tied in part to his growing frustration with his team's performance.

The Eagles have had decent success in Hurts' limited snaps this season, averaging 8 yards per play with two touchdowns, according to NextGen Stats.