Why Gardner Minshew is starting for the Eagles in Week 13 vs. Jets instead of Jalen Hurts



The Eagles (5-7) are fighting to stay in the NFC Wild Card race in Week 13, but they’re going to have to fight for another win without their starting quarterback.

Jalen Hurts is going to be unavailable for the Eagles against the Jets. As a result, Philadelphia will turn to its backup quarterback, Gardner Minshew, to lead the team to victory.

Minshew, a third-year pro and former sixth-round pick by the Jaguars, is in his first season with the Eagles but has plenty of starting experience. He started 20 games for the Jaguars during his first two seasons. While he posted a record of 7-13, the rest of his numbers — 62.9 percent completion rate, 5,541 passing yards, 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions —were solid.

The Eagles will hope that Minshew can continue to play mistake-free football against a Jets team that has generated just nine takeaways this season, good for the second-worst mark in the NFL.

But why is Minshew starting for the Eagles? Here’s everything you need to know about Hurts’ injury and the Eagles quarterback situation.

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Why is Gardner Minshew starting for Eagles instead of Jalen Hurts?

Minshew is starting for the Eagles because the team’s normal starter, Jalen Hurts, is injured. He suffered an ankle injury after being sacked in Philadelphia’s 13-7 Week 12 loss to the Giants. He limped off the field after being tackled in an awkward fashion during the play.

Hurts finished the game but went just 14 of 31 passing for 129 yards and three interceptions. He didn’t record a touchdown in the defeat, and it was clear that he wasn’t fully healthy.

While the Eagles remained hopeful that Hurts would play in Week 13, he was limited in practice and Minshew took most of the reps. Hurts was a game-time decision, but ultimately, the Eagles decided to roll with Minshew. Philadelphia has a bye looming in Week 14, so they are opting to play it safe with their top quarterback.

As such, Minshew will get his first start with the Eagles after being acquired in an offseason trade.

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Gardner Minshew trade details

  • Eagles receive: QB Gardner Minshew
  • Jaguars receive: Conditional 2022 sixth-round draft pick

The Eagles traded for Minshew on eve of the season to add depth to the team’s quarterback room. They had Hurts and Joe Flacco on their roster, but they sent a conditional sixth-round pick to the Jaguars to acquire Minshew.

Minshew, 25, has plenty of starting experience and ended up replacing Flacco as the Eagles’ top backup. Flacco was sent to the Jets for a conditional 2022 fifth-round draft pick, so the Eagles actually profitted from the Minshew trade long-term.

As for the Jaguars, they had no need for Minshew after drafting Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall. Urban Meyer tried to hype a Lawrence vs. Minshew quarterback battle during the preseason, but it never materialized.

Jacksonville then decided to move on from Minshew and add another draft pick to its stash of assets. The team turned to CJ Beathard, who signed with the Jaguars as a free agent in 2021, as its new backup quarterback.

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Who is the Eagles’ backup quarterback?

With Minshew starting and Hurts out, the Eagles will turn to a new backup quarterback against the Jets. That will be Reid Sinnett.

Sinnett is a second-year pro who played collegiately at San Diego. He hasn’t taken a regular-season snap yet during his NFL career. However, he shined during the 2021 NFL preseason, completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 401 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in three games of action. He was the only quarterback to play in the third preseason game and led the Dolphins to a win.

Sinnett spent parts of both the 2020 and 2021 NFL seasons on the Dolphins roster. The Eagles claimed him off waivers in late October, so obviously, they like the 24-year-old third-stringer’s upside.


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