49ers news: Jalen Hurts injury opens up door for top NFL playoff seed

Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The 49ers had to turn to backup quarterbacks twice this season, and now the Eagles are turning to a backup for Jalen Hurts to wrap up the regular season.

No, the San Francisco 49ers aren’t secretly happy at the fact Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts suffered a sprained shoulder during his team’s Week 15 win over the Chicago Bears.

Nobody wants to see that, particularly for a player who is in the running for the NFL MVP award this season and at the helm of a Philly squad that’s currently 13-1 and in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture.

The Eagles have already clinched the NFC East, but they don’t quite have a complete grasp on the top seed within the conference, which will come with a first-round bye during the Wild Card round and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs up to the Super Bowl.

With Hurts’ injury, a team like the Niners might be able to take advantage.

NFL playoffs: 49ers, Vikings may look to pass up Eagles for No. 1 seed

If there’s good news for Philadelphia fans, Hurts doesn’t appear to have suffered a serious injury, and it seems as if he’ll be ready to go for the playoffs, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark:

As far as the Eagles’ Week 16 matchup against their division-rival Dallas Cowboys, though, it’s looking more and more as if backup quarterback Gardner Minshew will get the start.

Sure, Philly has a talented team all around Hurts, and this isn’t a case where it’s all or nothing for the Eagles if Hurts isn’t available.

However, Philadephia is lesser a team without Hurts under center.

Right now, the NFC playoff picture is as follows:

  1. Philadephia Eagles (13-1)
  2. Minnesota Vikings (11-3)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (10-4)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (10-4)
  6. New York Giants (8-5-1)
  7. Washington Commanders (7-6-1)

Read More: Is No. 2 seed worth risking injury for 49ers over final 3 weeks?

The Eagles, Vikings and Niners have all clinched their respective divisions, but the top seed is still very much in the air. Had Minnesota not staged the biggest comeback in NFL history against the Indianapolis Colts last Saturday, and paired with San Francisco beating the Seattle Seahawks the previous Thursday, the 49ers would actually be in the No. 2 seed because of a better conference record.

Now, should Philly somehow lose three in a row with the Niners winning their final three games or the Vikings winning two of three, things get far more interesting.

San Francisco might have a long shot at securing the top seed in the conference, but it’s still a possibility.

One that just got a little larger with Hurts likely to miss some time.

Next. 10 most painful playoff losses in 49ers franchise history. dark