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Lions DC Aaron Glenn lays out the focus on stopping Eagles QB Jalen Hurts

One week after facing veteran Matthew Stafford at quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, the Detroit Lions defense goes up against a very different type of signal-caller in Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hurts is an accomplished runner, second only to Lamar Jackson in rushing yards by a QB with 361 through seven games. But Hurts can also throw the ball down the field well. In his second NFL season, Hurts has seen his completion percentage rocket up from 52 to 61, and he’s doing it while increasing his average air yards per attempt, too.

The ability to win in diverse ways is something that concerns Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. Hurts has been the focus for Glenn in preparing his defense for the Eagles this week.

“You’ve always got to make sure you’re on your toes with this player (Hurts),” Glenn said in his weekly press briefing. “Even if it’s a close game, he’s one of those guys that has the potential to pull it off. We have to make sure that we’re all good in that area and understand who he is and what he’s done over his career. The second thing is his ability to run with the ball.

You just said it, he has over 350 yards rushing, so we have to be able to contain that and make sure that he doesn’t get out of the pocket. So, our rush lanes have to be really, really good in that situation. We’ve already talked about that with our D-line. They understand that and we watched tape on that and we’ve seen how he’s been able to exploit different teams by being able to do that.”

Glenn then shifted focus to the speedy weapons at Hurts’ disposal in the Philadelphia offense,

“And then the next thing is just the skill players that he has. Those guys are making plays for them. I’ll tell you what, this (DeVonta Smith) 6 from Alabama, he’s a really good player. The one player that has surprised me also is (Quez Watkins) 16. He’s catching all of these deep balls, so they have an element of speed on that team, 18 (Jalen) Reagor, he’s done a nice job for them also. To me, he seems like he’s a lot faster than he showed last year. Skill players are there, they have a quarterback that can move around in the pocket and be able to distribute, so we’ve got to be careful of that.”

It’s been complicated for Glenn to get the defense ready. Two starting CBs, AJ Parker and Jerry Jacobs, missed practice on Thursday, and Parker’s status for Sunday’s game is up in the air.

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