Doug Pederson confirmed what everyone in Eagles nation feared Monday afternoon, Carson Wentz has a torn ACL
“We overcame a Pro Bowl left tackle [Jason Peters], we overcame a middle linebacker [Jordan Hicks], we overcame a running back [Darren Sproles] and a core special teams player [Caleb Sturgis], this is no different,” Eagles head coach Pederson said. “Yes he is the quarterback of our football team and each one of these guys that I mentoned is tough to replace. We have Nick Foles for a reason like this and I am excited for Nick. I hate it for Carson Wentz. I hate it for the season he’s been having but at the same time it’s been the next man up mentlity and that’s how we approach it this week.”
Pederson’s confidence may ring true, but replacing the MVP front runner will be pretty tough. It will be up to Nick Foles to step into Wentz’ shoes and becme a folk hero for the Eagles as the winter months get colder.
“To the fans out there, you can’t lose faith,” Pederson said, also saying that no decision on surgery for Wentz has been made yet. “This has been a resilient football team all season long. If there’s ever an opportunity for me as a head football coach to rally the troops now might be the time. We just came off a tremendous victory to win the NFC East. Our players are riding high. It’s bittersweet.”
Wentz remarkably was able to hang in the game for four plays after the knee injury, tossing a key fourth down touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery to put Philly ahead as the third quarter waned. The pass was Wentz’ 33rd of the season — ironically setting the Eagles’ record in a single campaign.
Foles stepped in and completed six of 10 passes, and thanks in large part to the defense stepping up the Birds earned their 11th win.
With Foles starting, the Giants, Raiders and Cowboys remain on the schedule (with two of the upcoming games at home) and a 14-2 record is very possible. Regardless, losses to the Vikings and Saints give Philly the inside track at home field throughout the playoffs.
“If we win Sunday we get a first round bye, theres still a lot to play for,” the coach said.
Foles has playoff experience, having led the Eagles in their most recent post season loss, a setback to the Saints back in 2013. That season was a legendary one for Foles, of course, as he ran the Chip Kelly offense to perfection, throwing 27 touchdown passes to just two interceptions. For now, at least, Pederson confirmed that Nate Sudfeld will serve as Foles’ back up.
There is no timetable for Wentz’ rehab. But, with a small silver-lining, Pederson did say that rookie cornerback Sidney Jones has been cleared to practice.
Jones can’t play quarterback. The season and the city’s Super Bowl hopes rest on Foles. Time to get on board the Foles train.