Rarely has a backup ever faced the kind of pressure and scrutiny that Nate Sudfeld will in replacing Nick Foles. With Carson Wentz unable to remain healthy, Foles started 13 games the past two years, including all five in the postseason.
Foles, of course, earned Super Bowl MVP honors in the Eagles’ victory over the Patriots to end the 2017 season.
But Foles left in free agency to become the Jaguars’ starting quarterback, leaving Sudfeld as Wentz’s backup.
The Eagles aren’t handing Sudfeld the job. But with Philadelphia giving Sudfeld a second-round tender and not bringing in any real competition, the job obviously is Sudfeld’s to lose.
“Nate has an opportunity to really compete and solidify the No. 2 spot,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said, via Andrew Kulp of NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com. “He gets an opportunity, and it’s a great opportunity for him to do that.
“Depth brings a lot of competition. At that spot, there is no exemption. Looking forward to that.”
The Eagles didn’t sign a veteran quarterback such as a Teddy Bridgewater, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tyrod Taylor, instead signing free agent Cody Kessler and using a fifth-round draft pick on Clayton Thorson. That leaves Sudfeld as the favorite for the job.
Sudfeld, a sixth-round pick of Washington in 2016, has never started a game. He has played in three for the Eagles the past two seasons.
“Nothing’s ever going to be handed to you, and you don’t want it that way,” Sudfeld said. “There’s no sense of entitlement. Everything’s earned. I’m just trying to improve myself as much as possible, try to be the best version of myself, work on my craft. I know if I can keep improving and become a better player, it’ll all take care of itself.”