He looked dead.
“I thought they were going to bury him next to the statue outside,” Chris Long said. “They were going to have the statue and then like a little tomb for him.”
With 1:50 left in the game and the Eagles trailing the Texans and deep in their own territory, Nick Foles lay motionless in the north end zone of the Linc after getting cheap-shotted by Jadeveon Clowney while unloading a pass to Alshon Jeffery.
“It was a great hit,” Foles said. “He got a good one on me.”
Foles didn’t realize it at the time, but Jeffery had caught the pass for a 19-yard gain, and a personal foul on Clowney gave the Eagles 15 more yards.
All Foles knew was that he couldn’t breathe and it got really, really quiet at the Linc.
“Our trainers got out there and I was able to get my breath back,” Foles said. “I had no clue if Alshon had caught it or anything, so I was trying to figure out what the scenario was.”
The scenario was that nobody knew how bad Foles was hurt.
It was a scary moment.
“My fault, too,” Jason Kelce said. “It sucks. To see him lying there, it’s frustrating for me watching that and wondering if he’s going to get up or not.”
But this is Nick Foles we’re talking about, and it seems like every week the Legend of Nick just grows.
Foles finally got up and jogged off the field, and Nate Sudfeld — as required by NFL rules — came in and threw one pass.
“I could tell when he was on the ground he was wincing a little bit, but when he jogged off the field and was able to move his arm, I knew he was fine,” Jordan Matthews said. “That’s when I knew he wasn’t leaving this game.”
After Sudfeld threw incomplete, Foles jogged back on the field to 70,000 people chanting his last name over and over and over.
Seven plays later, Jake Elliott’s 35-yard field goal gave the Eagles a 32-30 win and added another incredible chapter to Foles’ remarkable career (see Roob's observations).
“The place went crazy when he jogged off the field,” Zach Ertz said. “Sat out a play and led us down the field like he seems to do. He played out of his mind.”
Foles set a franchise record with 471 yards and threw four touchdowns in his fourth start of the year and his second since Carson Wentz was sidelined with a back injury.
Who knows what will happen next. The Eagles finish the regular season Sunday in Washington and even with a win over the Redskins, they need help to make the playoffs (see story).
But one thing is certain.
Foles just keeps adding chapters to an already astounding biography.
“It was devastating watching him sitting there hurt,” Kelce said. “Incredible game by him, incredible moment to come back in and lead us to victory. I was stuck in a daze over there. I wanted to see if Nick was all right, but you don’t have time to do that.”
That fourth-quarter hit wasn’t the only big hit Foles took. He was facemasked to the turf by Clowney on a two-point conversion attempt in the second quarter that wasn’t called.
“That’s a tough dude, man,” Nelson Agholor said. “He gets hit like that and he gets back out there and he finished the game and made plays. Can’t say enough about Nick Foles and his toughness and his ability to be a gamer.”
X-rays on Foles’ ribs after the game came back negative, which was great news. And honestly a little surprising if you saw the hit.
Foles said he was a little sore after the game but said the injury didn’t bother him on the final drive.
“I felt really good,” he said. “Once I was able to move around a little bit I felt really good and I was excited to get back out there with the guys.”
We all know Foles has a knack for the spectacular. His 2013 season was historic, he tied an NFL record with seven TDs in a game, he’s a Super Bowl MVP, he’s got the highest passer rating in postseason history.
And now, we know he’s as tough as anybody.
If this was his last game in an Eagles uniform in front of the home crowd, it was a heck of a way to go out.
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