Jan. 4—The Eagles opened the 21-day practice window for safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson and defensive end Robert Quinn Wednesday leading up to the first walk-through practice of the week.

Both Gardner-Johnson and Quinn are eligible to be activated off injured reserve and play against the New York Giants this Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. Gardner-Johnson has missed five games with a lacerated kidney; Quinn has been sidelined for four games with a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. The team also opened the 21-day practice window for reserve offensive tackle Brett Toth.

Along with the IR activations, Jalen Hurts took another step toward returning from his right shoulder sprain on Wednesday after missing two games, both losses. The 24-year-old quarterback was a limited participant in practice and ran with the first-team offense during the session, according to The Inquirer's Jeff McLane. Hurts was a limited participant in Thursday's and Friday's practices last week, but he didn't take any team reps.

Sirianni said Hurts is making progress but would not make any determination on whether the MVP candidate would be ready to return against the Giants.

"We'll still keep that day by day," Sirianni said. "We don't have to make that decision. We're going to see how this week goes and see how our walk-through goes. ... We'll get a better idea over the next couple days."

Gardner-Johnson's potential return for the final game of the regular season is significant news for the Eagles secondary. The defensive back's six interceptions are tied for the league lead even after he missed a chunk of the season, and his absence, along with slot cornerback Avonte Maddox being sidelined indefinitely with a toe injury, has stressed the defensive backfield's depth.

Undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship replaced Gardner-Johnson at safety and has played reasonably well, but the Eagles have missed the versatility Gardner-Johnson offers. The former slot cornerback with the New Orleans Saints switched to safety after he was traded to the Eagles before the start of the season and has spent some time covering tight ends or receivers in the slot.

Two weeks ago, the Eagles struggled with Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb primarily when he lined up inside with backup cornerback Josiah Scott matched up against him. Lamb had 10 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles' 40-34 loss.

On Monday, Sirianni said Gardner-Johnson has been working on regaining his conditioning after spending the initial few weeks following the injury off his feet to let his body recover.

"That's not something that you can be there and do a lot with," Sirianni said. "These last two weeks, he has been able to ramp it up. When it is time for him to go, he'll be ready to go physically, not just the injury healed, but physically be ready to go."

Meanwhile, Quinn has played only 21% of the Eagles' defensive snaps since the team traded a fourth-round pick to the Chicago Bears for the veteran edge rusher in October. Once healthy, he could see a temporary uptick in playing time depending on Josh Sweat's status. Sweat left Sunday's game against the Saints with a neck injury that required him to be taken off the field on a stretcher, but Sirianni said the Pro Bowl pass rusher was back at the facility Wednesday and was in good spirits.

"He's probably going to be bugging me to play," Sirianni said. "We'll see about that."

___

(c)2023 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.inquirer.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Latest videos