Two reports on Sunday morning sent a strong signal that the Eagles seem to be taking the beginning steps of making a change at quarterback away from Carson Wentz.
According to an ESPN report, backup Jalen Hurts has been getting increased 1st-team reps at quarterback this week at practice.
According to an NFL Network report, Hurts will be getting an increased role in the game plan on Monday night against the Seattle Seahawks, taking snaps at quarterback with Wentz on the sideline. That would be a major change from how Hurts has been used this season, as every snap he has taken has been with Wentz on the field as well.
Add both up, and it certainly seems like it is a matter of when, not if, a change is coming at quarterback.
Speaking Saturday to the media, Pederson would not say anything about Hurts’ role in the game plan, but did say the backup has not been getting any more reps than usual.
“He hasn't gotten any more than he would get throughout the course of the week normally since we've been playing him,” Pederson said. “I'm not going to reveal any game plan plans with him at this time.”
We will find out on Monday night if Pederson does indeed plan to use Hurts more than he is letting on.
The timing of these reports, however, are interesting.
Earlier this week, head coach Doug Pederson brought up unprompted that one of the tough parts of his job is the decision on “whether you are going to make the move at quarterback or not.”
The statement then lead to this weird exchange between Pederson and a reporter:
Reporter: “You are not making that move to a different quarterback, right?”
Pederson: “Not today on Wednesday, no.”
Reporter: “Possibly for Monday?”
Pederson: “Ummm I’m focused on getting better today….I would say no, no”
Reporter: “Carson (Wentz) is your starter for Monday?”
Pederson later double-downed on Wentz being his stater, but the clumsy exchange certainly seemed to indicate that Pederson was considering making a change.
The drama of whether Wentz will be benched, whether it be for a series or for an entire game, is the result of both his poor play this season and the team’s decision to draft Hurts in the second round.
Wentz has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL this season, turning it over almost twice a game and making poor decision after poor decision in the pocket. Even with his poor play, it is unlikely that there would be calls for Wentz to benched if the backup was Nate Sudfeld. At the very least, they wouldn’t be giving Sudfeld snaps during the game. That is only happening because the backup is Hurts.
Where this latest Eagles quarterback drama goes from here remains to be seen, but with the team off Sunday, the entire league is going to get to watch it unfold in prime time on Monday night.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at email@example.com!