The Giants didn’t hide their feelings about what the Eagles did Sunday night in replacing Jalen Hurts with Nate Sudfeld. Eagles defensive lineman Brandon Graham agreed with only one thing Giants coach Joe Judge said Monday: The Eagles owed the Giants nothing.
The Giants would have won the NFC East if the Eagles had beaten the Washington Football Team. Instead, the Eagles tanked for the higher draft choice.
“I understand what some people felt, because they want to win,” Graham told Angelo Cataldi of 94WIP. “Yeah, we want to win. We out there trying to win. But at the same time, people disrespecting Nate Sudfeld like he’s just terrible. Nate deserved the opportunity, and I knew he was supposed to get out there. I don’t know why people didn’t think that because he was excited all before the game. I don’t know, man. I don’t think coach has ever made me feel like he wanted to lose because he hates losing and when we lose, we feel that when we’re in a team meeting that Wednesday of the next week talking about the game.
“Some people just didn’t like the decision, because they want to see Hurts in there, but at the end of the day, this game didn’t mean anything for us. We were still going home, so why not see who else you got out there? And if people have a problem with it, don’t put yourself in that position. The Giants, don’t put yourself in that position. Win your game.”
Graham disputed Miles Sanders‘ comments from Tuesday when the running back said “nobody liked the decision” to play Sudfeld as well as a Philadelphia Inquirer report that many players were “shocked and outraged.”
“Miles, I don’t think he was on the sideline or anything,” Graham said. “He probably didn’t hear coach when he was talking about other guys getting the opportunity. People that were getting restrained, I didn’t see that all. That must’ve been fake news, what they call it. Like us as a defense, we went out there trying to win for Coach [Jim] Schwartz.”
Graham, in fact, defended Sudfeld’s entry into the game in the fourth quarter with the Eagles trailing by three points.
“I was hype for Nate,” Graham said. “Because let me tell you, Nate ain’t played since 2017. I haven’t seen him out there. It’s been a minute seen I since Nate [in a game], and I knew Nate was supposed to go out there because we talked before the game and he was excited to get his opportunity. When coach put him out there, I really didn’t think anything of it.
“If this game didn’t really mean anything to anybody, we wouldn’t be talking about this, I feel. Because really you want to see what’s on your roster. People were all out, everybody is out, Miles [Sanders], everybody that’s out. You want to kind of see the depth that you have. And I feel like people kind of making a big deal out of something coach was going to do anyway because he wanted to see his guys and see what he had moving forward for next year. I don’t know. I just feel like when the Giants start talking all that stuff, people started getting all mad because, ‘They all disrespecting the game and all that.’ But it’s really, that was the plans in the beginning.”