Nate Sudfeld

A loopy Carson Wentz FaceTimed Eagles after surgery and asked about new plays

AP Images/Carson Wentz IG

A loopy Carson Wentz FaceTimed Eagles after surgery and asked about new plays

Next man up. That's this 2017 Philadelphia Eagles team's motto.

So it's Nick Foles' turn at quarterback now that Carson Wentz has been lost for the season. The man who would follow in Foles' footsteps? That would be Nate Sudfeld.

The quarterbacks on this team are extremely close.

"They’re honestly like brothers to me," Sudfeld told reporters on Thursday.

Sudfeld also relayed a rather funny FaceTime call he and Foles received from Wentz right after his surgery to repair his torn ACL.

“He was pretty loopy after the anesthesia. He was trying to figure out the new plays we put in," Sudfeld said.

There wasn't a whole lot of small talk, apparently. Wentz is in positive spirits, Sudfeld said, as also seen in his video message to fans.

Of course Carson wanted to talk football.

“The first question from Wentz, ‘so what’s this new play I saw in the emails?’ I was like, ‘you sure you want to know right now?” Sudfeld said.

“Do you expect anything less from Carson? He was ordering a burger at the same time.”

“He was loopy but he was good. Classic Carson."

Eagles fans are going to miss Classic Carson on the field the rest of the season, sadly.


Photo of Wentz post-surger via his IG:

Nate Sudfeld has reasons to feel 'very confident' as Eagles' new backup QB

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Nate Sudfeld has reasons to feel 'very confident' as Eagles' new backup QB

Nate Sudfeld stood by his locker on Wednesday afternoon, early in his first week as the Eagles' backup quarterback, and claimed his game-day responsibilities won't change. He'll still be helping the starter to see coverages, go through plays and diagnose pressures. 

The only difference is he'll now wear a helmet and shoulder pads. 

Well, actually, there's one more difference. 

"I won't be dead tired when the game starts," Sudfeld said. 

During the first 14 weeks of the season, when Sudfeld was the Eagles' third-stringer, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo would put him through an intense 45-minute workout before each game. Sudfeld is grateful for those workouts, which helped him with throwing and footwork, but said DeFilippo "kills" him each week. 

Those workouts are over. Because come Sunday, thanks to Carson Wentz's torn left ACL, Sudfeld will be dressing for each game as the Eagles' backup quarterback behind Nick Foles. 

He's now just one play away from being the Eagles' starter. 

"I feel very confident," Sudfeld said. "I mean, I wasn't just sitting back, watching practice all year, just expecting to never play football. I was definitely getting ready in case something like this happened. It's my responsibility as a 3 to be ready to be a 2. One play away and then one more play away. So I definitely feel prepared being here however many weeks, 14 weeks, has really helped. But I've treated each week as if I was going to play. I feel very confident."

But the difference between Foles and Sudfeld is glaring. Foles has been a starting quarterback in the NFL before and even in Philadelphia (see story). He's been to a Pro Bowl. His experience has been lauded all week (see story).

Meanwhile, Sudfeld is 24. A sixth-round pick to Washington last season, he's never played in an NFL game. Heck, Sunday will be his first time dressing for an NFL game. He didn't even join the Eagles' active roster until early November, when the Birds signed him from the practice squad. And that was just to prevent the Colts from poaching him. 

Has the Eagles' faith in him as the backup validated his decision to stay? 

"I mean, I've always wanted to be here since I got here so I'm just very excited that they do think enough of me to give me the opportunity," Sudfeld said. "I'm looking forward to if my name does get called, being ready to go." 

Since joining the Eagles' active roster, he's been inactive every week. But the fact that they were willing to use a roster spot on him, knowing he would be inactive each week, speaks to the way the organization feels about him. 

Foles didn't hesitate during his press conference on Tuesday to include Sudfeld every time he mentioned the quarterback group. The two have grown extremely close during the last few months. 

"Nate's a tremendous player," Foles said. "I'm excited about his future. Really smart, works his butt off, he's got all the tools to be a great player in this league. He's been there. I'm always going to include Carson, me and Nate. That's just sort of how it's been every single day going to work. We're going to lean on that. I'm going to lean on Nate through this process and we have the kind of quarterback room where you can do that, so it's sort of awesome. He's a tremendous player and I'm excited about his future in this league."

While not much will change for Sudfeld on game day — unless of course something happens to Foles — his workload during the week is very different. With Foles now taking all of the first-team reps at practice, Sudfeld gets all the scout team reps. 

While he got a few scout team reps over the course of the last few months, most of his reps with the Eagles have been mental. Sudfeld has been in the building with Wentz and Foles every day to watch film at 6 a.m., the trio would prep for each team and go through everything together, but when they got onto the practice field, the top two guys got to play and Sudfeld became a spectator. 

Fans probably don't know much about Sudfeld. Until this week, there's a good chance most Eagles fans had never even heard of him. Well, Sudfeld was a sixth-round pick out of Indiana last year. He spent the entire 2016 season with Washington, but was cut on Sept. 2. The Eagles signed him to their practice squad the next day. 

What kind of quarterback is he? 

"It's hard to assess yourself," Sudfeld answered. "I'm very confident in my game and I think I can make all the throws. I think I can move if I have to. I think I know the game pretty well. I'm continuing to improve. I'm a work in progress, but excited what I know I can do."

Perhaps the thing Eagles fans might know best about Sudfeld is that he's tall, white and lanky, and folks would probably say he looked like Wentz if he didn't look exactly like Foles. He and Foles look so much alike that their teammates razz them for it and fans confuse the two (see story).

Just last week in Los Angeles, fans got the two confused. Fans thought Sudfeld was Foles, even though the Real Nick Foles was walking in uniform right in front of him. 

When it was pointed out to Sudfeld that no matter how well Foles plays, he'll probably feel it too. 

"True," Sudfeld said. "Hopefully he keeps doing what I know he can do so people love me walking down the street."  

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Fletcher Cox calls 49ers' Joe Staley to clear the air

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Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Fletcher Cox calls 49ers' Joe Staley to clear the air

Fletcher Cox made sure to call Joe Staley this week after his block on the 49ers' offensive tackle left Staley with a gash under his eye and a fractured orbital bone.

At the time, Staley thought it was a dirty hit, so Cox called him to clear the air. 

"We talked through it and he did tell me that he's been on the opposite side of that situation," Cox said. "And at that point right there during a football game, what can I do besides check on him? He's fine and we have no beef or nothing going on."

Cox said it was a mistake that his hand slipped through Staley's face mask. Cox said he was glad Staley was OK (relatively) and was thankful he didn't break his hand. 

The block came after Jalen Mills' second-quarter interception and helped Mills get into the end zone for his first career pick-six. 

"This game is so fast," Cox said. "Most people don't understand. I understand that he was probably frustrated at the time and thought it was a dirty play. But honestly, who goes out and pokes people in the eye on purpose? We got helmets on so why would you do that?"

Three's company
There was absolutely no doubt for Nate Sudfeld. 

He wanted to stay in Philadelphia. 

And that's exactly what happened. Sudfeld, the Eagles' third-string quarterback, was signed to the 53-man roster earlier this week as the Eagles prevented the Indianapolis Colts from poaching him off the practice squad. 

"Never for one minute that I've been here have I thought that they didn't believe in me and I've wanted to play my best for them," Sudfeld said. "I'm thrilled that they think of me that much and did everything they could to keep me around and see a future with me being a part of it."

Keeping Sudfeld might have surprised some fans, but it's pretty clear the Eagles must think a lot of him. They showed interest in him during the 2016 draft when Washington took him in the sixth round. But Sudfeld never forgot about his encounters with the Eagles. He even chatted with Eagles coaches before the two games against them last season. 

Sudfeld likes it so much in Philly he said he would have even considered staying on the practice squad instead of joining the Colts' 53-man roster. Good thing for him, the Eagles didn't know that. They signed him so they wouldn't lose him. He's felt the love from the Eagles for a long time. It's why he decided to come to Philly this September instead of staying in Washington. 

"Absolutely," Sudfeld said. "They showed interest during the draft process and then got to see them before games and things last year. They were saying hi. That little stuff has been great." 

Nick Foles is obviously the Eagles' backup quarterback for now, but it seems possible that Sudfeld could end up being the Eagles' backup quarterback at some point. There are always teams who need quarterbacks and Foles might not be a bad option for some of them. 

Did Sudfeld really think about leaving? 

Yeah, of course. But he talked it over with his family and his agent. "Ultimately, I'm happy I stayed here," he said.

More praise for Wentz
It's going to become an every week thing. The opponents who are about to play the Eagles are going to praise Carson Wentz. That's how well he has been playing this season. 

The top-notch Denver defense is no exception. 

Von Miller is impressed: 

“He just has that vibe about him. I hate comparisons in the National Football League. I don’t want to compare him to Ben Roethlisberger or Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck because he’s totally different than them. He does have the ability to stay up. He’s not trying to go down. He’s out there trying to play football. He’s not even playing quarterback. He’s out there playing football. It’s similar to Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck, but like I said, I’m not making any comparisons. He’s totally different. He’s faster than those guys. He’s quicker than those guys. It’s going to be a tough challenge.”

Here's head coach Vance Joseph when asked how Wentz went from North Dakota State to the NFL's MVP race: 

“I’m not sure. His background, but he’s the second pick of the draft for a reason. He’s a talent. He uses his legs. He’s a big guy, he has a great arm and he has great legs. He has courage and poise and he’s smart. I’m not sure how he got to that school, but where he is now, he’s a special player. He’s up for the MVP, in my opinion, watching the guy play. He is a playmaker and he plays with a lot of courage. He has some Brett Favre in him. He doesn’t slide, he runs for first downs and he hangs in the pocket and holds the ball a long time on occasions to make big plays. He’s a special player. I’m not sure how he got there, but where he is now, he’s special.”

Here's what Broncos DC Joe Woods had to say about Wentz: 

“He’s a big guy. He can make all the throws. He has great touch on his deep ball. Guys just bounce off of him in the pocket. I know guys compare him to Ben Roethlisberger and I see why. He is a good young quarterback. It’s only going to get better. He’s doing a hell of a job right now.

Quote of the Week I: "I'm just glad now that there's two backs I don't want to see in December are both on my team. Good luck to everybody else." — Malcolm Jenkins on the trade for Jay Ajayi

Quote of the Week II: "I always say, man, it's an 80-20. Eighty percent chance I'm gonna catch it. Twenty percent chance it's going to be incomplete." — Alshon Jeffery on 50-50 balls 

Quote of the Week III: "I woke up today as a Philadelphia Eagle and I’m very excited about that." — Jay Ajayi 

Random media guide note: If Destiny Vaeao could play another sport, he would want to be a forward for the Manu Samoa rugby squad.