There are any number of things to concern yourself with heading into this season if you’re an Eagles fan.
Is Doug Pederson the answer? Can Carson Wentz take that huge leap into superstardom? There’s the cornerback spot, the running back position. Will it be a committee thing? Can Wendell Smallwood stay healthy? How much does LeGarrette Blount and Darren Sproles have left in the tank? Will the defensive ends get to the quarterback enough to cover for the corners? Linebacker depth comes to mind as well.
Suffice to say backup quarterback doesn’t jump to mind.
But maybe it’s time to start giving it some thought. Nick Foles has been nursing a sore elbow. He has yet to play in a preseason game and has been wearing a baseball cap for most of training camp. The club has downplayed the significance of his absence and injury, but we’re just a little more than two weeks from the start of the season and options behind Wentz are not ideal.
In fairness, this is the case throughout most of the NFL. Dallas was the exception last season when their No. 1 went down and Dak Prescott stepped in as a rookie and led the Cowboys to the playoffs. The Eagles do have a history of success with backups. Be it A.J. Feeley or Michael Vick or Foles in his first go-round here. But for the most part when your starter goes down, so do your season’s hopes.
That doesn’t mean you wave the white flag with who’s lined up behind Wentz. With Foles out, Matt McGloin has logged the large majority of the reps. He’s attempted 88 passes in three exhibition games. His statistics: 62 for 88, 491 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions, 70.5 completion percentage and a 73.6 passer rating. Dane Evans, the rookie out of Tulsa, he of the strong arm, has barely sniffed the field in preseason games.
McGloin, the Scranton, Pennsylvania, native and former Penn State walk-on is a great story of perseverance. And he has four years of NFL experience under his belt from his time in Oakland. But his performance in the preseason thus far has not passed the eye test.
If Foles' injury is more serious than we’ve been led to believe, is the club confident enough in McGloin as the No. 2? Would it consider bringing someone off the street? Colin Kaepernick perhaps? The organization has not been averse to taking on controversial figures in the past, such as Vick. Politics aside, the Birds have limited cap space, and Colin Kaepernick’s price tag may be too steep. It’s slim pickings elsewhere. Not to mention playing catch-up without a training camp to learn the system.
Despite a choppy performance in the preseason, the Eagles' offensive line was thought to be a strength coming into 2017. It better be. In the meantime, three words: slide Carson, slide.