There’s plenty of trepidation around Jalen Hurts' health, and it appears the Giants’ defensive gameplan, unsurprisingly, could be tailored around that.
The Eagles quarterback dealt with a sprained SC joint in his shoulder susatained in Week 15. He missed two games with that injury, but did play in the regular season finale against New York. He'll play in the divisional round tilt against the Giants on Saturday, but there remains plenty of doubt about how close he is to 100 percent.
A quarterback with a banged up shoulder who rushes with the ball often is a potentially dangerous combination – one that any defensive coordinator would key in on. Giants safety Julian Love was asked Thursday in his weekly appearance on “Tiki and Tierney” if he is convinced Hurts is fully healthy.
“You never know with stuff like that," Love said. "Obviously, we’re all competitors and no matter how dinged up we are, in this situation, you want to be the guy to go. But we’re definitely going to test him out and see how good he’s actually feeling. He makes their offense go, he’s a talented player, like you said he’s been playing at an MVP pace all year, and he’s gonna have to earn it. That’s as simple as I can put it.
“Whether he’s hurt or not, whether he’s feeling it or not, he’s going to have to earn everything he gets because that’s our approach going into this week.”
Love made sure to clarify that they weren’t intending to do anything reckless. Although hitting the shoulder might be the objective at times, it’s certainly not something worth forcing – especially with someone who can be as elusive with the ball as Hurts.
“I’ve got to preface this, of course. You know me. We’re not trying to intentionally target or injure him or hurt him or anything like that, but you’ve got to play a physical game,” Love said. “The best way to put it is he runs like a running back. When he has the ball in his hands, he’s a running back at that point, so we’ve got to tackle him like a running back.
“Take that for what it is, once he takes off he’s not a quarterback anymore, he’s a ball-carrier, and we have to tackle him as such. That’s how we have to play.”
Hurts -- who has said he's not worried about his shoulder getting targeted -- was removed from the injury report Tuesday.
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