Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is used to powering through opposing defenses like he did on Monday night to score his 29th career rushing touchdown from a yard out, the most in NFL history by a quarterback within their first career 50 games. However, Hurts was also pushing past another opponent in the Eagles' 25-11 victory over the previously undefeated Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3: illness, which took the form of flu-like symptoms.
"Just us executing," Hurts said after Monday's game when taking about playing through the discomfort. "It's not the first time I've dealt with this or had to play with something like this. And it always happens on Monday night for whatever reason."
The 2022 NFL MVP runner-up finished with 277 passing yards, one passing touchdown (a 34-yarder to Olamide Zaccheaus) and two interceptions through the air as well as 28 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown on 10 carries. One of Hurts' top offensive lineman, Jason Kelce, had a similar issue, so he and his quarterback could empathize with each other's in-game struggles.
"It feels like everyone in the world is right now," Kelce said postgame Monday when talking about getting sick. "It's kind of ramping up again. We had a lot of guys on the team this week ... it's kind of maybe that time of year right now in Philly."
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Given that Hurts signed with Nike's Air Jordan brand this past offseason, his teammates joked about comparing him to His Airness, Michael Jordan, who scored 38 points in a 1997 NBA Finals game against the Utah Jazz in a game dubbed "the flu game."
"He signed with Jordan, of course the flu game is going to come up, but I don't know," Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said of Hurts powering through sickness in the win. "He always has that calm, cool. I don't ever see him rattled. I couldn't tell he was sick."
Despite Hurts and Kelce being under the weather, Philadelphia's offense still racked up 472 yards with running back D'Andre Swift (130 rushing yards on 16 carries -- 8.1 yards per carry) and Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown (131 receiving yards on nine catches) playing starring roles. The Eagles are now one of just three undefeated teams remaining this season along with the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins.