Doug Pederson expects Nate Sudfeld to be the backup quarterback

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The Eagles didn’t draft Jalen Hurts to be the backup to Carson Wentz, after all.

Instead, Hurts likely will be the backup to the backup, Nate Sudfeld.

“I fully expect Nate to come in and be aggressive and do the things that he’s capable of doing, and become the backup to Carson,” coach Doug Pederson told reporters on Tuesday. “And then with Jalen, Jalen is about, right now, just learning and picking up our system, and he’s another one, another young player that we drafted who, there’s a lot to learn from the quarterback position.

“So, are we going to take it a little bit slower maybe with him until he grasps the offense? You might have to. What I like about it is always the unknown, and the unknown is how well a guy I think can progress. And then once we get him on the grass, put him through drills, put him through practices, then we see exactly what these guys are all about.”

Pederson realizes that the public-health situation will make it harder for younger players to thrive in 2020.

“Having played in this league for so long and seeing this pandemic and thinking back to when we came out of the lockout year, I think early on in this season, this becomes a veteran-laden football season,” Pederson said. “Football teams are going to have to rely on their veteran players, and Nate is one of those guys for us. He’s been on our roster the last couple of seasons and he knows exactly what we are doing. I have a ton of confidence in Nate to become the backup quarterback.”

That said, the depth chart is far from set.

“Nothing is ever handed to anybody, and we always try to create, I always try to create competition at every position, and quarterback, as you guys know, is not exempt from that,” Pederson said.

Injuries also can be an issue, as the Eagles and Sudfeld learned the hard way last year. Sudfeld suffered a wrist injury in the preseason, which ended the year for him. If that happens again, Hurts undoubtedly would move to No. 2.