Jalen Hurts has received countless questions about his chest and shoulder all week ahead of Super Bowl LVII, answering them thoughtfully and honestly. Yes, he’s feeling better. But no, he’s not 100 percent.
The Eagles star will battle through it.
After speaking with the Eagles medical staff led by head athletic trainer Tom Hunkele and Dr. Arsh Dhanota on Monday at Super Bowl LVII Opening Night, they shed some light on why Hurts is still feeling the injury and why there simply hasn’t been enough time to shed the discomfort.
“I’m getting there,” Hurts has said to reporters on more than one occasion. “I’ve made it clear this whole time it’s something I’m dealing with.”
So what is it?
There is a ligament that connects the clavicle to the sternum, and that joint is what Hurts injured. It’s called the sternoclavicular joint, and it connects the two bones at the base of one’s Adam’s apple.
When Bears edge rusher Trevis Gipson fell on him on a frozen field in Chicago on Dec. 18, Hurts’ shoulder hit the turf and his chest compressed like an accordion. That forced the ligaments to strain and caused the SC joint sprain.
Hurts somehow finished the game.
The prescription was rest and rehab to not only build up the functionality but allow the discomfort to subside. Hurts missed Week 16 (right shoulder) and began throwing again late in the week ahead of Philadelphia’s Week 17 game.
Hurts pushed to be available, but knowing the showdown that loomed against the Giants in Week 18 and that he would still be somewhat limited, the team decided to hold him back.
In Week 18, he returned for a gritty win over the Giants to clinch the top seed and a bye.
Despite that bye, Hurts still hasn’t had the full time required to allow his injury to completely heal. And in the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers, he felt every throw.
Hurts will play today against the Chiefs and that’s no issue — he was not listed on the Eagles’ injury report. There are no breaks and no surgery is coming. But only the rest of the offseason will allow him back to full health.
Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter.