PHILADELPHIA -- Caught on camera during the end of the third quarter of Thursday night's prime-time game -- with the Philadelphia Eagles up 13 points over the Minnesota Vikings and in control of earning another victory -- were Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown, in the middle of an exchange that head coach Nick Sirianni had to diffuse.
Of course the game was on national television. Everyone saw it and couldn't be avoided.
The Eagles tried to downplay the scenario, but they didn't need to. They played coy, acting like it didn't exist.
"I don't know. I didn't see what was going on with that. We were just trying to manage the game," Sirianni said postgame. "The conversations we have on the field are going to be private, and the conversations we have in our locker room are going to be private. You don't need to know what was going on right there."
Sirianni is correct. No one needed to know what went on between Hurts and Brown, two close friends whose relationship breeds deeper than football. Hurts is the godfather of Brown's daughter, Jersee, and is the man responsible for getting Brown to Philadelphia. The man who once tried to recruit Brown to Alabama during their high school days finally was able to throw footballs to him in an actual game instead of in a backyard.
There was no need for the Eagles to handle the situation like they did. The proof was in the pudding.
"That's part of being a competitor," said DeVonta Smith, who was caught in the vicinity of the exchange between Hurts and Brown. "You always want to feel like you're part of the team. Anytime something like that's going on, it's not nothing bad. He's not bashing nobody, man. He just wants to be part of the team, wants to help us."
Easy to understand Brown's frustration. He had just three catches for 17 yards at the time of the exchange, abnormal numbers for a player who broke the Eagles' single-season record for receiving yards in just his first year with the team. Actions that followed spoke louder than words.
The Eagles targeted Brown three times after the exchange, after not looking his way on the previous eight plays. Hurts targeted Brown right away to start the fourth quarter -- and the pass was incomplete. Four plays later, Hurts went deep to Brown for a 25-yard touchdown, only to be nullified by a Rashaad Penny holding penalty. Hurts went back to Brown on the next play, but Brown was tackled in the end zone and the pass was ruled incomplete (no penalty was called).
Hurts was sacked on the next two plays by Danielle Hunter and the Eagles were taken out of field goal range. The force-feed to Brown was already established to get him involved in the offense, and appeared to have played a role in the two sacks that followed -- as Hurts held on to the ball too long that killed the Eagles drive.
The Vikings scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession to cut the Eagles' lead to six. Hurts had to go to Brown again to help ensure an Eagles victory, as he found him on a third-and-5 at their own 41 for a 12-yard gain with 5:14 left. D'Andre Swift followed with a 43-yard run on the next play to essentially seal the win, a run which was set up by Brown's heroics.
Brown wasn't at his locker after the game, likely not willing to discuss the exchange. The Hurts-Brown discussion was put to bed by the quarterback shortly after -- in typical Hurts fashion.
"I think everybody wants to make plays and everybody wants to contribute. I have no worry about him," Hurts said. "He's a great player, a great teammate, a great friend, and we'll do anything and everything to win.
"We won. We won, I don't want to make it bigger than what it is. We're talking about external factors here, those things don't matter. What's said out there, that can potentially divide this group, doesn't matter. We won."
Whatever happened between Hurts and Brown was handled on the field. The execution by the Eagles to downplay it wasn't perfect, neither was how the offense tried to coddle Brown.
The aftermath of the exchange shouldn't linger. Former Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew once said Hurts and Brown were like an "old, married couple."
Friends disagree, but they make up. There's no reason for this to linger.