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Eagles: On a tough day, Jalen Hurts was determined to keep ‘fighting the fight’

PHILADELPHIA — The quarterback position in the NFL long defined by the ability to make a comeback, Jalen Hurts tried that twice Sunday in a 42-19 loss to San Francisco.

Sandwiched by 49ers Fred Warner and Oren Burks late in the third quarter, Hurts marched off to the trainers’ room for concussion protocol. Though by then unlikely that they would be able to rally, the sudden disappearance of Hurts hinted at an even more dreadful evening for the Eagles. Yet after five plays with Marcus Mariota under center, Hurts re-emerged.

That comeback lightened the mood in the Linc.

As for the other one he would try to concoct, it fizzled just after he threw a two-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith to trim a deficit to 35-19.

“I wasn’t trying to show anybody anything,” Hurts said. “I was just trying to keep fighting the fight.”

While that attitude likely will boost the Eagles in the long run, Hurts’ return in a game the Eagles were trailing, 35-13, with 8:38 to play carried a hint of high risk.

However, Nick Sirianni — with full clearance from the medical staff — was unwilling to stray from what had helped the Eagles build a 10-1 record. So he would keep his starters on the field until the end, and long after at least half of the assembled 69,879 had bolted.

“We were down two possessions,” he said. “We had some time. We had our timeouts still. And we were just trying to continue the game.”

Unwilling to adjust his plan and protect Hurts from another jolt, Sirianni sent his quarterback back out even after the Niners had inflated their lead to 23 points with 5:13 showing.

“Obviously, it was an assessment in that moment,” Hurts said. “Everybody was doing their jobs and doing their roles. I was able to come back when everybody felt I was ready to.”

With that, Hurts would do little to boost what has been a robust MVP candidacy, finishing with 298 passing yards, a touchdown, and being sacked three times. He also ran seven times for 20 yards. Of particular frustration was the Eagles’ early inability to score deep in San Francisco territory. On their first two possessions, they put up 120 total yards, yet were only able to register two field goals.

“It’s important to start fast,” he said. “And I feel we started with good rhythm and good tempo. We had good execution for the most part. We just weren’t able to connect and execute like we wanted in the red zone.

“When you’re playing a team like that, every little thing matters. That’s a credit to them and the way they played today and how they executed. We just have to do a better job of controlling things that we can and playing cleaner. They played well and took advantage of their opportunities. That’s a really good football team. Really great players. They did a great job today.”

Hurts has done well to lead the Eagles to a 10-2 record. But Sunday, he led just two touchdown drives in a game that well may yield significant NFC postseason implications. Dallas is next, then Seattle, both on the road. The Cowboys, like the 49ers and Lions, are just one game back in the standings.

“Nothing is changing in our process,” Hurts said. “Keep the main thing the main thing. We have to stay true to who we are and keep learning from it. Win, lose or draw, it’s always a deep, deep dive into what we can be better at, looking ourselves in the mirror and responding to the mistakes that we made and also to the success that we’ve had.

“So it’s no different here. It’s about how we respond. It’s about how much we want to grow. It’s about, ‘How to we better ourselves?’ So that’s the mentality moving forward, and obviously, it has to be done together, as a unit.”

Source: Berkshire mont

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