Updated: 12:16 p.m.
The cat-and-mouse game is over.
Nick Foles has officially been named the Eagles’ starter for Week 1.
After being combative and not divulging who would start on Sunday, Doug Pederson strolled into the auditorium at the NovaCare Complex before Jim Schwartz’s press conference on Monday morning to deliver the news.
Here are Pederson’s short remarks:
After consideration and everything and about the football team and this decision, Nick Foles is the starter Week 1. My press conference will be tomorrow. I’ll answer questions at that time. But I wanted you to hear it from me. It is about the football team and the best interest of the 53 and Nick Foles will be my starter Week 1. Thank you.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport broke the news that Foles would start Thursday against the Falcons, but the Eagles declined to confirm that report. That set up a press conference with a contentious Pederson on Sunday (see story).
But the news that Foles is the starter isn’t really surprising. Based on the fact that Carson Wentz hasn’t been cleared for contact and based on Pederson’s saying one guy was getting the first-team reps, we already knew Foles was the guy.
Wentz, of course, is still recovering from a torn ACL and LCL he suffered on Dec. 10 in Los Angeles. His goal throughout his rehab had been to be ready for Week 1. He’ll fall short of that.
Offensive coordinator Mike Groh said the Eagles will continue to get Wentz reps in practice so when it’s time for him to take over as the starter, there will be a more seamless transition.
Foles led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl championship in February and earned Super Bowl MVP honors along the way. But throughout his career, he’s had really good games and really bad ones. He didn’t instill a lot of confidence in the preseason, but the Eagles were using a pretty vanilla game plan.
Several Eagles in the locker room on Sunday said they had a ton of confidence in Foles, who has been working with the first team all spring and summer, even though Wentz had been worked in the rotation at times. Of course they have confidence in him; Foles won the Super Bowl MVP less than seven months ago.
Eventually, though, the Eagles will hand the team back over to Wentz, whom they consider to be their franchise quarterback. He was on his way to winning the NFL’s MVP award last year before he suffered that season-ending knee injury.
The question surrounding Wentz doesn’t really change; it just gets pushed back until Friday. When will he be ready to play again?
The Eagles have a 10-day layoff before facing the Bucs in Tampa Bay. They play the Colts at home the following Sunday.