The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Tuesday that they have benched quarterback Carson Wentz and will start rookie Jalen Hurts under center on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
“We’re not where we want to be as an offense,” head coach Doug Pederson told the Eagles Inside Podcast. “I looked at the whole thing and decided that for this week to look for that spark again to try to get the team over the hump, to try to get everybody playing better.”
The decision — which was solely Pederson’s — comes as Carson Wentz was putting together his worst season as a professional, leading the Eagles to a 3-8-1 record while posting career lows in completion percentage and quarterback rating and leading the league in interceptions thrown.
“Carson is like all of us right now, he’s disappointed. He’s frustrated,” Pederson said. “He’s been a professional through it all. He supports his teammates and that’s what you want to see from him, the leader of the team. I know sometimes the quarterback gets a lot of the blame like the head coach does. It’s the good with the bad. It’s not about Carson Wentz. It’s not about one person. We know we have issues on offense and it has been a struggle for us all season. That’s where the frustration lies a little bit, but he’s been a pro and would expect nothing less.”
A stiff test awaits Hurts on Sunday as the Saints have allowed the fewest total yards this season and the fourth-fewest points.
“I just want to see development. I think it’s a great opportunity for him, a great opportunity for the team,” Pederson said.