No pain no gain for Hurts after Eagles clinch top seed

By Sports Desk January 09, 2023

Jalen Hurts knows the "job isn't finished" for the Philadelphia Eagles after he pushed through the pain barrier to play against the New York Giants.

Quarterback Hurts suffered a shoulder injury during the Eagles' win over the Chicago Bears in Week 15, and Philadelphia subsequently lost their following two games.

That left them in danger of missing out on the NFC top seed, but a 22-16 victory over the Giants on Sunday ensured a bye to the second round of the playoffs, and home-field advantage.

Hurts returned for the crucial game, throwing 229 yards at a pass-completion rate of 57.1 per cent (20/35), with one interception.

"I feel like coming into this game, I've been really pushing myself beyond measures to try and be available," Hurts told the media.

"The risk-reward of playing, whatever that was, we did what we had to do. We're the one seed and we're NFC East champs and that's the goal we set out to do.

"Now I can continue to recover and be ready for the playoffs.

"It's been tough, but I don't really want to make it about me. We just accomplished a great goal of ours.

"My whole thing moving forward is, let's prepare to play our best ball. It's been a great ride this year but the job isn't finished.

"I had some things I had to battle within myself. I knew I wanted to be available for my team. It's really tough being out, let alone taking some losses when you’re out. I want to be available for my team. I really feel like if you want something you have to do what you have to do to go get it."

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said: "We didn't feel like there was more risk [of further injury] but I know [Jalen] was hurting, and he was hurting bad.

"But that's the kind of competitor he is, that's the kind of person he is, and kind of team-mate and leader he is that he was able to go out there and tough through it."

The Eagles joined the Kansas City Chiefs, who topped the AFC, on 14 wins this season. Indeed, Philadelphia set a franchise record for regular-season victories.

Receiver A.J. Brown, meanwhile, broke the Eagles' record - set by Mick Quick in 1983 - for the total number of receiving yards across the regular season, and Sirianni has confidence heading into the postseason.

"This team has done some special things," Sirianni added. "Some of the records that this team has had, as far as A.J. and DeVonta [Smith], to have two receivers do that, the most points, the most wins most importantly, right, the most sacks.  

"Just a lot of great things that happened in the regular season. We understand that. We talked about that a lot this week. We talked a lot this week about [how] we should be confident.  

"Again, do we feel like we played a great game today? No, not by any means. But this team should be confident, right? That doesn't mean cocky, it means confident with all the things that we have been able to accomplish this year."

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