The Philadelphia Eagles have yet to declare Jalen Hurts their starting quarterback for 2021. Likewise, the franchise hasn’t ruled out the possibility of drafting a rookie signal-caller in the first round.
One name that has been linked to them dating back to February is Justin Fields. The former Ohio State quarterback is one of the top prospects in the draft, although a recent medical disclosure — Fields has been managing epilepsy since childhood — has some wondering if he may drop down draft boards.
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day was quick to put out a statement defending Fields, saying the condition never affected him on the field. The 22-year-old never missed a game in college — 22 games, including not opting out during the COVID-19 pandemic — and completed 68.4% of his throws for 5,373 yards and 63 touchdowns, plus 15 rushing scores over the past two seasons.
Justin’s health, toughness and work ethic have never been an issue and I am incredibly proud of his professionalism and the character he displays on and off the field. The fact that he never missed a game at Ohio State speaks volumes about how he takes care of himself.
— Ryan Day (@ryandaytime) April 21, 2021
ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky also put Fields under the microscope by criticizing his work ethic in comments he has since back-tracked on. Day also rushed to his quarterback’s defense after those concerns came out in the public eye.
“I heard something about (Fields being) the last one to come in, first one to leave,” Day said, via CBS Sports. “First off, the scouts weren’t in our building all year. Last one in? Every morning, at least every morning we could be in the building, early, he’s in there.”
OSU QB Justin Fields has confirmed to NFL teams during the pre-draft process that he is managing epilepsy – a neurological disorder that can cause seizures, per me and @TomPelissero. It has not affected football & doctors believe he’ll outgrow it as his other family members have.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 21, 2021
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