There is no quarterback in the NFL quite like the Ravens' Lamar Jackson, but the Eagles have tried to simulate Jackson’s explosive, dynamic style this week with their backup quarterback, Jalen Hurts. Teammates have given Hurts solid marks for his impression.
“He’s given us a great look. So far, so good,” defensive end Brandon Graham said. “[Wednesday] was really good, seeing the speed of what we’re going to see. Of course, he’s not Lamar, but he’s fast, too. ... It’s definitely going to help us Sunday.”
Graham stressed the need for discipline as the Eagles chase Jackson around because the quarterback is “a home run hitter at any given moment.”
Hurts is listed at 6-foot-1, 223 pounds and has posted a 4.54-second 40-yard dash time. Jackson, listed at 6-2, 212, has run a 4.34.
“Obviously, the tempo will be a little different on game day, but I think Jalen’s been doing a really good job at it, and he’s taking it serious,” defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said.
Corner Cre’Von LeBlanc said that having Hurts mimic Jackson “helps tremendously.” He said Hurts, who completed his first NFL pass last Sunday, for 18 yards, is “definitely a team-first guy.”
Safety Rodney McLeod said that Hurts “understands the zone-read scheme, and his athleticism, I think, speaks for itself. ... He’s putting that on display for us throughout this week, giving us a real good look. scrambling around, whether it’s designed runs, or it’s him just doing things similar to Lamar Jackson, and then also having the ability to throw the ball down the field.”
Starting right tackle Lane Johnson (ankle) again did not practice Thursday. If Johnson can’t go Sunday against the Ravens, center Jason Kelce again will be trying to shepherd four extremely inexperienced starters through an afternoon, this time against the league’s stingiest defense. Rookie Jack Driscoll has subbed for Johnson parts of the last two games, and in the opener.
Wide receivers DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Alshon Jeffery (foot) were supposed to be just a good week of practice away from playing this week, but both were listed as “limited” again Thursday. Ditto corner Avonte Maddox (ankle). Corner Darius Slay was listed as limited, which would seem to be a good thing, as he recovers from a concussion. Slay did not practice with the team Wednesday.