Eagles QB Jalen Hurts practices for first time since injuring shoulder in Week 15

Could Jalen Hurts play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints?

Hurts’ improved health status on the Philadelphia Eagles’ Thursday injury report suggests there’s a chance.

Hurts (right shoulder) was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice, which was his first practice since he injured his shoulder in a Week 15 win over the Chicago Bears. Backup quarterback Gardner Minshew played in Hurts’ place last week in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys, completing 24 of 40 passes for 355 yards, two TDs and two interceptions, also rushing for a score.

The Eagles host the Saints on Sunday and are a win (or tie) away from clinching the NFC East, but they also can achieve a division title if the Cowboys lose or tie against the Titans Thursday night. If the Eagles win Sunday, they also wrap up the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

Playing Sunday could also affect Hurts’ Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player candidacy. He’s considered one of the frontrunners for the award, along with Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Bengals QB Joe Burrow, Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson and others.

One way or another, the Eagles are still going to be shorthanded offensively down the stretch. Right tackle Lane Johnson (groin) is expected to miss a few weeks but is expected to try to play in the postseason. Running back Miles Sanders (knee) didn’t practice Wednesday, but was limited on Thursday. WR A.J. Brown (knee) has been limited the past two practices as the staff has given him some additional time to rest.

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