April 19, 2024

TAMPA, Fla. — Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts confirmed that he played through flu-like symptoms during Monday night’s 25-11 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Just us executing,” Hurts said, describing what it took to gut it out. “It’s not the first time I’ve dealt with this or had to play with something like this. And it always happens on Monday night for whatever reason.”

Hurts was not alone. Center Jason Kelce said a number of Eagles were under the weather leading up to the game.

“It feels like everyone in the world is right now,” he said. “It’s kind of ramping up again. We had a lot of guys on the team this week … it’s kind of maybe that time of year right now in Philly.”

Even so, the offense put up 472 yards, led by high-flying performances from running back D’Andre Swift (130 rush yards) and receiver A.J. Brown (9 catches, 131 yards).

Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham joked afterward that Hurts, who recently signed with Nike’s Jordan brand, was just trying to be like Mike, who famously put up 38 points for the Chicago Bulls in a win over the Utah Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals while dealing with an illness. It wasn’t that epic: Hurts had an up-and-down night, throwing and rushing for a touchdown while also tossing a couple of interceptions. But he did dazzle with a couple of his throws.

His return to Tampa held some significance. It was the sight of the Eagles’ 31-15 playoff loss to the Bucs that ended their 2021 season. Hurts went 23-of-32 for 258 yards with a TD and an interception that night. A Buccaneers assistant coach who was miked up for the game was heard saying, “This guy can’t read [the defense].” Hurts indicated during the week that those comments would serve as “a little extra inspiration.”

“It’s a feeling I haven’t forgot,” Hurts said of that playoff loss. “And things have gone very well ever since.”

Hurts improved his regular-season record to 17-1 as the starter since that loss.

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