Eagles QB Nate Sudfeld ready for spotlight in preseason opener

Nate Sudfeld Eagles

Instead of watching last year’s MVP candidate Carson Wentz or Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles fire passes to receivers, the 40,000 fans at the Eagles open practice on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field endured a heavy dose of third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who ran most of the plays with the first team offense.

Better get used to it, Eagles fans.

With Wentz still not cleared for contact and Foles nursing neck spasms, Sudfeld is likely your starting quarterback, and Joe Callahan as his backup, for the preseason opener on Thursday at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I am getting more reps this year than I ever have before, so that gives me a lot of confidence because nothing should be too new on Thursday,” Sudfeld said after practice on Tuesday.

“It’s not going to be perfect, but I’m looking at trying to get into a rhythm and flow and hopefully make good plays out there. I am just excited and I think we are going to have an excellent night.”

Wentz is not expected to play in the preseason as a precaution to protect his surgically repaired left knee. Foles, if healthy, will play a few series or a quarter in next week’s preseason game at the New England Patriots, probably a half of the third game in Cleveland and then sit out the final one at home versus the New York Jets.

Therefore, a majority of the remaining snaps will go to Sudfeld, who has a golden chance to prove he can play quarterback in the NFL.

“It’s extremely valuable [for Sudfeld],” coach Doug Pederson said. “We saw Nate in the Dallas game at the end of the year and thought he played well there. Those are the things that you hope he can carry over into the preseason this year.”

The Washington Redskins selected Nate Sudfeld out of Indiana in the sixth round of the 2016 draft but cut him on Sept. 2, 2017. The Eagles signed the California native to their practice squad the next day and added him to the active roster in November. Sudfeld served as Foles’ backup for the remainder of the year, including in the playoffs and Super Bowl.

Aforementioned, his only appearance was in a meaningless regular-season finale against the Cowboys, where he completed 19-of-23 passes for 134 yards.

“I feel like I have improved a lot since I joined the Eagles,” Sudfeld said. “There hasn’t been a single day where I feel like I haven’t gone to work with a purpose and knowing what I need to improve on whether it was mental or physical. I feel like I have built something good here.”

Since the end of last season, Nate Sudfeld has impressed the coaching staff and his teammates with his mechanics, strength, and speed.

After working and building a rapport with the second and third teams at OTAs and spring practices, he is taking the majority of reps with the starting offense, due to Foles’ injury, and assuming a larger role at camp.

Better get used to it, Eagles fans.

“This is a great opportunity for Nate, and Joe, if I’m not able to play,” Foles said. “I think Nate has the potential and talent to be a starter in this league. He’s a guy who since he got here continues to get better and continues to excel every single day.”

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