Eagles

Nate Sudfeld has an opportunity with the Eagles, and he's showing what he can do

Nate Sudfeld has an opportunity with the Eagles, and he's showing what he can do

FOXBORO, Mass. — All Nate Sudfeld ever wanted was a chance. He didn’t get it in Washington … or “my last place,” as he calls it. He’s getting it now, and he’s opening a lot of eyes.

“I’ve felt valued since I’ve been here,” Sudfeld said.

Sudfeld put on quite a display of quarterbacking Thursday night at Gillette Stadium, completing 22 of 39 passes for 312 yards with three touchdowns and one interception that wasn’t his fault in the Eagles’ 37-20 loss to the Patriots (see breakdown).

“Felt great to play so much,” Sudfeld said. “It was really fun to kind of get into a rhythm and see different looks and bank reps early in the game and act on them later on what you saw, so that part was fun.”

The Eagles have always liked Sudfeld, since stealing him from the Redskins when they tried to sneak him onto the practice squad last summer.

He played well in a late-season appearance against the Cowboys but this summer he’s taken his game to another level.

He made at least five throws Thursday night — several against the Patriots’ 1s — that really made you take notice.

Yeah, it was only the preseason. But when you see a young quarterback play at this level, it definitely catches your attention.

In two preseason appearances, Sudfeld has thrown for 452 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions, two of which weren’t his fault.

His five best throws Thursday:

• He capped his second drive with a short TD pass to Shelton Gibson, leading him perfectly after Gibson lost Jason McCourty.

• Sudfeld found Dallas Goedert in space over the middle for a 28-yard gain late in the second quarter.

• In the third quarter, with the Eagles backed up on their own 2-yard-line, he found Gibson on a go route for a 57-yard gain. J.C. Jackson had solid coverage but Sudfeld led Gibson perfectly, and Gibson made his second big catch in two weeks.

• Also in the third quarter, Sudfeld floated a 17-yard dime to tight end Richard Rodgers for a touchdown.

• Later in the third quarter, he dropped a perfect 31-yard TD to Rashard Davis in the far left end of the end zone with Devin McCourty and Eddie Pleasant in coverage.

“I thought Nate did a great job of going in there and finding a rhythm and really letting the ball fly and show what he’s capable of doing,” said Foles, who left the game with a shoulder injury early in the second quarter.

“I was very proud of Nate. I think just from the point he got here last year when he came from Washington, I think he’s improved like crazy. It’s fun to see him go out there and sling it around a little bit and give us an opportunity to come back.”

It was only a preseason game, and you don’t want to make too much of it, but Sudfeld made throws against solid coverage that you don’t often see from a young, fairly inexperienced third-stringer.

“One of the biggest differences is getting reps,” Sudfeld said. “There weren’t many reps at the last place. It makes sense, I’m not bitter about it or anything. They had two great quarterbacks ahead of me at my last place.

“But just getting reps and being able to make a mistake and come back from it and knowing that you’re going to get opportunities really kind of eases your mind. You know you can go out there and trust what you see and try to make throws, and if you make a mistake show that you can bounce back.”

The only certainty among these Eagles quarterbacks is that when he’s healthy, Wentz will be the starter.

The Eagles could trade Foles, they could trade Sudfeld or they could keep all three. But for now, all three are together, and the Eagles are confident in all three.

“It’s amazing,” Sudfeld said. “I was talking to Nick about it. Take a deep breath and enjoy the room that we have right now because you never know how long it’s going to last.

“Obviously Carson’s unbelievable. Nick also. They’re such different players but they do such great things. I’m very thankful for the situation I’ve been in and try to soak up as much as I can.”

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Eagles Injury Update: Jalen Mills will start Sunday, but Eagles missing other key players

Eagles Injury Update: Jalen Mills will start Sunday, but Eagles missing other key players

The Eagles are getting at least one key starter back for Sunday Night Football against Dallas, but will be missing several others. 

Jalen Mills (foot) will be officially activated off the PUP list and said he will start against the Cowboys. 

I asked Mills what it meant to him to be named a starter after nearly a year off the field. 

“I had to make plays at practice, you know what I’m saying?” Mills answered. “It wasn’t nothing given. At the end of the day, you’ve got to show the coaching staff and you also gotta show the other 10 guys on the field that I’m capable of going out there and making plays.” 

It’s been nearly a year since his last game action (Oct. 28, 2018), but Mills said he feels like he’s in good enough condition to play the entire game if he needed to. But that probably won’t happen. Expect to see the Eagles rotate some. 

“It’s good,” Mills said about his conditioning. “Did a great job with Josh (Hingst), our strength coach as far as these six weeks on PUP on the side field, as far as me running and getting my heart and my lungs strong. And then football today and the last two days, running all over the field. If the ball’s getting thrown the other day, chasing it down.” 

Mills was not required to be on the injury report all week because he hasn’t been on the active roster. 

Here’s the final injury report of the week: 

Out: Nigel Bradham (ankle), DeSean Jackson (abdomen), Tim Jernigan (foot), Avonte Maddox (concussion, neck), Jason Peters (knee) , Darren Sproles (quad)  

Questionable: Ronald Darby (hamstring) 

No real surprises there. All the players ruled out haven’t practiced all week. 

Darby hasn’t played since he suffered his hamstring injury against Detroit. Doug Pederson said on Friday morning that he still viewed Mills and Darby as starters. So if Darby is able to play, expect him to start opposite Mills. 

Without Peters, rookie first-round pick Andre Dillard will make his first-career start at left tackle. He’ll see a lot of Robert Quinn and maybe a little of DeMarcus Lawrence. 

Jackson has been doing some work on a side field this week, but didn’t practice. He hasn’t played since early in the Atlanta game in Week 2. This will be his fifth consecutive game missed. On Friday morning, Pederson was asked if it’s even possible for Jackson to get to 100 percent this season. 

“Nobody is ever 100 percent,” Pederson said. “Again, with the type of injury that he has, and being a track guy, a speed guy, it affects you. It makes a difference. Is he going to be 100% when he comes back? Probably not. Is he going to feel better? Yeah, he'll feel better and be able to put it behind him and focus on football.”

Bradham was seen on Friday walking through the locker room, still with a noticeable limp. Without him, expect Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry and T.J. Edwards to be the starters, with the first two playing on nickel downs. 

Sproles is out again, but is at least healing. For the first time (at least that reporters have seen) since his injury, he was working on a side field Friday. 



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Some thoughts on the latest anonymously sourced report about Eagles’ offense

 

DeMarcus Lawrence says Doug Pederson should ‘shut his ass up’

DeMarcus Lawrence says Doug Pederson should ‘shut his ass up’

Earlier this week, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson on Monday morning said the Eagles were going to go down to Dallas and win on Sunday night.

Pederson claimed it wasn’t a guarantee; it was just showing confidence in his team. 

And then we went most of the week without hearing a ton about it, at least nothing incendiary, from any other players or coaches … until Friday. 

I don’t think it was ever in question that Pederson was going to stay on the sideline for this game. Not much use for a 51-year-old backup quarterback coming off offseason ankle surgery. 

Anyway, with two 3-3 division rivals battling on Sunday Night Football, neither squad probably needed a ton of extra motivation. But here it is. 

For the Cowboys, it’ll be Pederson’s declaration that the Eagles are going to win. 

For the Eagles, it’ll be Lawrence saying their head coach should “shut his ass up.” Don’t talk to dad like that. 

Some of this stuff can be silly, but I’ll take anything that throws gasoline on the rivalry fire. And this might just do it. It’s just more fun when these two teams hate each other. 

While Lawrence is a very good player and has been to two straight Pro Bowls, it is worth noting that Lane Johnson has pretty much shut him down in the past. Lawrence has played the Eagles nine times in his career and doesn’t have a sack.

 

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