With the Chicago Bears owning a 3-10 record going into yesterday’s game, I didn’t expect to see them impact the playoff race down the stretch.
But it appears as though they may have — and in a painful manner, no less.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts suffered a shoulder injury during Sunday’s game against the Bears on a play in the third quarter, when defensive end Trevis Gipson delivered a shot:
Schefter has it as a sprained shoulder. Additionally, Schefty hears from Hurts’ agent, who believes this is *NOT* a long-term injury. NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero tweets that the injury is a sprain in Hurts’ throwing shoulder. That’s not good news when you’re a quarterback. And while there might be hope that this isn’t a long-term injury, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a significant one. Moreover, it is certainly one that the NFL will monitor over the next few weeks.
Hurts was the league MVP front-runner going into Sunday’s game. After doing his part in helping the Eagles pick up another win and improve to 13-1, Hurts’ stat line looks like this: 67.3% completion rate, 3,472 passing yards, 22 TD, 5 INT, and a 104.6 passer rating to go along with 156 carries, 747 rushing yards, and 13 touchdowns. If Hurts isn’t healthy enough to finish the season, it could impact the MVP race down the stretch. But more importantly, if this injury is more serious than some of the initial reports suggest, it could turn the hunt for the NFC championship on its ear. Could you imagine a Brock Purdy-Garnder Minshew II NFC title game?
In the end, I can’t stop thinking about how Trevis Gipson and the Bears have impacted the NFC playoff picture. I didn’t see that one coming.
UPDATE (4:27 PM CT) — It’s not my shoulder, so it’s a lot easier to tell others it’s not a serious injury: