Jalen Hurts Makes His NFL Debut in Philly
Jalen Hurts always seems to find his way into the conversation. The Philadelphia Eagles activated its second-round pick for the first time in its Week 2 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams to serve as the backup quarterback to Carson Wentz.
However, Hurts didn't hold a clipboard for the entire game, seeing a handful of snaps at running back and wide receiver.
The Eagles made it known Hurts would be used early and often when he was selected with the 53rd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
"It's just something we're going to explore," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said following the draft. "I want to make a point here first and foremost that Jalen Hurts is a good quarterback, and he was drafted as a quarterback and he's a quarterback first, but he has a unique skill set that he's a great runner. Obviously, he throws well on the run. He has a unique set of skills that we're going to take a look at..."
The selection was seen in two lights at the time. Incumbent starter Wentz, who was taken with the second overall pick in 2016, has seen his name on the injury report quite often since tearing his ACL before the Eagles went on to win Super Bowl LII. Though Nate Sudfeld has been serviceable when called upon, it made sense for the Philadelphia front office to invest in stronger insurance with Hurts.
The second light was the usage of New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill. Hill, despite going undrafted in 2017 as a 26-year-old from BYU, emerged as an exciting player willing to play all over the field, including special teams.
Hurts made it known early in the draft process he wouldn't switch positions, though he never flatly denied being used as a gadget player like Hill.
It's worth noting Hurts lined up at receiver and running back for the Crimson Tide in 2018 with Tua Tagovailoa pegged as the starter, though the ease of the schedule didn't allow for those packages to be seen often.
So far that appears to be the case with Hurts in Philly. Be a gadget player. The Alabama hero and Oklahoma stud didn't record any stats Sunday, but certainly drew attention when he saw the field as a decoy.
Injuries continue to plague the Eagles across its offense. If there's one thing all football fans can agree on is that Jalen Hurts does special things with the ball in his hands as a runner. Though Wentz is a quality athlete in his own right, Eagles' head coach Doug Pederson has never shied away from being creative in his offense.
The Eagles are 0-2 following its 37-19 loss to LA. Creativity with Hurts may be just what the Eagles need to rebound its season until the team finds a way to stay healthy.