Jalen Hurts hasn’t taken the field for an Eagles game since Nov. 28, when he went down with a high ankle sprain and his team suffered a crushing 13-7 loss to the New York Giants. Hurts missed his team’s 33-18 win against the New York Jets and continued to recover over the bye week.

Now 24 hours before facing the Washington Football Team, Hurts appears to be back on track to start, The Inquirer’s Josh Tolentino writes. Hurts doesn’t have any injury designation, which is an indication that he could be back on track.

— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport

Tell us: If Jalen Hurts is healthy and cleared to play, should he start for the Eagles on Tuesday? Or should Gardner Minshew get the nod? Let us know what you think. sports.daily@inquirer.com

Early Birds

“You missed the boat.” That’s the message Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland wanted to share with scouts who questioned Landon Dickerson’s athleticism.

The former Alabama offensive lineman was high on draft boards but dropped to the second round because of concerns about his athletic ability and injury history. The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane speaks with Stoutland, who explains why Dickerson graded differently with the Eagles and how he has proved himself since landing in Philly.

Next: The Eagles play the Washington Football Team at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Off the Dribble

The Sixers — along with the rest of the NBA — have been hit by COVID-19 over the past week, with players being placed in health and safety protocols and games being postponed. This ramp up in cases forced the NBA and NBPA back to the drawing board, where they decided to allow teams to add replacement players for each positive COVID-19 case on their roster.

With Shake Milton, Andre Drummond and Georges Niang all out for Monday’s game against the Boston Celtics, Philly added Tyler Johnson on a 10-day deal as part of their hardship waiver. Johnson, a nine-year NBA veteran, will be a key addition in the backcourt as Milton remains out and Tyrese Maxey returns from a left quad contusion. The Celtics, who are decimated by COVID-19 at the moment, were also without several players in their contest against the Sixers, who managed to come out on top.

Next: The Sixers play against the Atlanta Hawks at 7 p.m. Thursday, facing off with a new rival they have dominated this season.

On the Fly

The Flyers are scoring a lot of goals under Mike Yeo (3.7 per game) and those goals are coming from a variety of sources.

After slumping for most of the season, players like Oskar Lindblom (three goals), Travis Sanheim (2 goals), James van Riemsdyk (five points) and Travis Konecny (seven points) have suddenly come to life offensively since Yeo took over as interim boss on Dec. 6. As Sam Carchidi writes, that newfound scoring balance has been a key factor in the team’s recent turnaround and 4-2-1 start under Yeo.

The Flyers likely won’t have Kevin Hayes on Tuesday to help in that regard, as the center left practice Monday and is now in COVID-19 protocols. Hayes is the third Flyer to be added to the list, following Morgan Frost and Max Willman.

Next: The Flyers host the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night at 7 (ESPN+). If you are attending the game, give yourself plenty of time as the Eagles are also home at the Linc in a rescheduled game from the weekend.

Extra Innings

Rosters are frozen during the lockout, which carries on and puts all of Major League Baseball on hold. Will the players union and the owners reach an agreement in January? In time for spring training in February? No one knows with so many key issues still to be worked out. But whenever the hot stove is turned back on, the Phillies and the rest of the National League East will have to quickly get back to work improving their rosters. Scott Lauber looks at some of the key questions that will determine whether the NL East will be better in 2022 — and where the Phillies stand.

Fleet Street

Have the Union entered the ranks of elite teams in MLS? A growing list of achievements, including reaching the Eastern Conference final this year, makes the case. But Jonathan Tannenwald’s analysis of the Union and their past season reveals what the organization must do to progress.

Worth a look

Sixth time the charm? Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford wants one more chance to get it right. Clifford, who announced his decision last week to return in 2022, said he wants to “right the ship” after a disappointing end to the 2021 regular season.

We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Josh Tolentino, Jeff McLane, Keith Pompey, Scott Lauber, Sam Carchidi, Olivia Reiner, Jonathan Tannenwald and Joe Juliano.