Eagles QB Nick Foles 'optimistic' after suffering shoulder injury in preseason loss to Patriots

Eagles QB Nick Foles 'optimistic' after suffering shoulder injury in preseason loss to Patriots


FOXBORO, Mass. — It was a scary moment early in the second quarter of Thursday night’s game when Nick Foles got hit on his throwing arm and grabbed for it in pain. 

The Eagles’ insurance policy for Carson Wentz only works if Foles is healthy. 

Luckily for the Eagles, Foles seems to think his right shoulder strain isn’t serious and is “optimistic” about it. He hopes to be back on the field at practice this weekend (the Eagles practice Sunday) and back playing again this preseason. 

“It’s just the shoulder,” Foles said. “It sort of got jarred in a funny way as I was following through. It feels good. We’ll check it out tomorrow more thoroughly.”

The reigning Super Bowl MVP will be at the NovaCare Complex Friday morning for treatment. He wouldn’t say whether or not an MRI is in his future, saying he’ll leave it up to the trainers. 

Head coach Doug Pederson wanted to get Foles back into the game for one more series at Gillette Stadium, but the injury ruined that possibility. 

The last time Foles played the Patriots, he was pretty good. Remember when he threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns in Super Bowl LII before being handed an MVP trophy?

That didn’t happen again. Foles wasn’t very good against the Patriots this time around. He completed just 3 of 9 passes for 44 yards and really struggled to get a rhythm (see breakdown). It wasn’t just Foles; the entire first unit struggled to get going.

“I would have like to have put some points on the board with the starting crew, but we didn’t,” Foles said. “We’ll keep improving. We know what it takes to get better, we just have to do it.” 

Foles, 29, is hoping he’ll get another chance to play this preseason and fix the errors. 

“It would mean a lot,” he said. “It would mean I’d be back on the playing field with the guys. That’s my goal. That’s what I feel like is going to happen. But once again, you sort of have to go through the proper channels and proper protocols with all of this. I’ll find out more information tomorrow and go from there.”

After the painful injury — he said it “wasn’t the best feeling” — Foles went into a blue pop-up tent on the sideline to be checked out by trainers. While he didn’t re-enter the game, it was seemingly a good sign when he didn’t leave the sideline to go into the locker room. Instead, he watched the remainder of the 37-20 loss with a baseball cap on his head (see 10 observations).

Foles missed the entire 2017 preseason with an elbow injury, but in that season, he wasn’t needed to play significant time until Wentz went down in December. 

If Foles can’t play again over the next two preseason games, would he be ready to play in the opener if Wentz isn’t ready to return? 

“I’m not even going to go there,” Foles said. “We’re just going to live in the moment and sort of go day to day. I’m going to do everything I can to get back on the field and hopefully practice the first day we get back practicing and be ready to roll.”

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Does anybody want this Eagles' offensive coordinator job?

Does anybody want this Eagles' offensive coordinator job?

It’s been nearly two weeks now, and the Eagles still don’t have an offensive coordinator, and we’re getting to the point where everybody’s wondering what the heck is going on.

Does anybody want this job?

The Eagles targeted Graham Harrell, but he opted to remain offensive coordinator at USC.

They targeted James Urban, but he opted to remain quarterbacks coach of the Ravens.

They targeted Mike Kafka, but he opted to remain quarterbacks coach of the Chiefs.

Those are three names we know, and there’s no way yet to gauge exactly how badly the Eagles wanted each of them, we do know they interviewed Harrell, they spoke with Urban and they had interest in Kafka.

Other teams are snapping up qualified candidates. Many of the top guys are no longer available.

The Dolphins hired Chan Gailey one day after they fired Chad O’Shea. The Redskins hired Scott Turner as soon as Ron Rivera got the job. The Broncos hired Pat Shurmur immediately after firing Rich Scangarello.

Highly sought-after LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady left for the Panthers a day after LSU beat Clemson.

John DeFilippo, the Eagles’ QBs coach during the 2017 Super Bowl season, accepted the same job with the Bears after getting fired by the Jaguars.

Joe Moorhead, who worked wonders at Penn State in 2016 and 2017 and was fired recently as head coach at Mississippi State, was hired Tuesday as offensive coordinator at Oregon.

Seven of the 10 teams that had offensive coordinator openings have filled them. Only the Eagles, Vikings and Jaguars haven’t filled theirs yet.

It was 13 days ago that Doug Pederson announced Mike Groh would return in 2020 as offensive coordinator. The next day, Groh was fired, and fair or not, there’s certainly a perception that the Eagles are scrambling right now.

Why don’t they have an offensive coordinator yet? Why does it seem like people don’t want the job?

Obviously, Doug Pederson calls the plays here, and Doug isn’t giving that up to whoever takes this job. It’s definitely an easier path to a head coaching job for an offensive coordinator who calls the plays.

But Frank Reich got the Colts’ head coaching job, and he never called plays here. Pederson only called plays occasionally under Andy Reid in Kansas City.

It’s also possible that up-and-coming coaches are wary of joining a staff where the head coach gave the offensive coordinator (and receivers coach) a vote of confidence one day and then fired them the next day. That wasn’t a good look.

There could be a growing perception of instability on Pederson’s coaching staff. He’s fired seven coaches since January of 2017, including three who were on the Super Bowl staff.

Whether or not it’s accurate, that sort of perception can cloud candidates’ decision making. Nobody wants to come into an unstable situation.

It’s also possible the Eagles have had their eye on one person all along and are simply waiting to name him. Sometimes the perception doesn’t match up to the reality. And when a team plays things very close to the vest, like the Eagles have been, it can create a false sense that they’re struggling to find the right guy.

There are still some interesting candidates out there.

Former Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is still out there. Former Dolphins QBs coach and Colts head coach Jim Caldwell is out there. Marty Mornhinweg is out there. Mike LaFleur, the 49ers’ passing game coordinator, is out there. ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky, who played in the NFL for 11 years, is suddenly a hot name.

And then there’s Duce Staley and Press Taylor, the two internal candidates, who’ve been there in the building all along.

There’s no deadline for this sort of thing, although the sooner someone is in place the better. Obviously the Eagles need an offensive coordinator by the NFL Scouting Combine, which starts Feb. 23 in Indianapolis.

And with each passing day more and more qualified candidates are coming off the board.

The Eagles also have openings for a secondary coach, a defensive line coach and a wide receivers coach, so there are a lot of moving parts here.

And a dwindling talent pool to choose from.

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Eagle Eye podcast: The best offensive coordinator candidates left

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Eagle Eye podcast: The best offensive coordinator candidates left

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro go over the latest news from the Eagles’ offensive coordinator search. 

The best candidates left. Taking a guess at the hire. Also, Andy Reid is heading to the Super Bowl … and so is Raheem Mostert. 

That and more on the latest Eagle Eye podcast: 

• Updating the Eagles’ search 
• Who are the top candidates left?
• Figuring out if Duce Staley makes sense  
• Each guy takes a guess at the next OC 
• Big Red is back in the Super Bowl 
• Stealing one player from each team 
• Raheem Mostert’s rise to stardom 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles