Even after Doug Pederson announced Tuesday that Jalen Hurts will start again in Week 15, the dour press conference Pederson gave after the Eagles' win against New Orleans left a strange cloud over Hurts' standing on the team.
Are the Eagles really so afraid of making Carson Wentz angry, or sad, that they'll avoid praising a player who had a good game?
Reports of Wentz's mindset after Hurts was drafted, and now that Hurts has taken over as the team's starter, have swirled all year long, including this nugget from NBC Sports' Peter King on Monday:
Walking on egg shells around a guy who couldn't stop turning the ball over and losing games for your team? That's not a great look.
And on Pro Football Talk on Tuesday morning, former NFL QB Chris Simms explained how the Eagles got to this point in their relationship with Wentz... and why it needs to stop:
"I think they probably, maybe rolled out the red carpet for him. That's what happens when you're the Top 2 or 3 pick in the NFL, and especially a quarterback. They just give you the keys to the organization. 'Here you go, you can do no wrong.' ... High draft picks can do no wrong for a period of time in their career. You can have a bad practice, the coach will come in and say, 'Oh, he was great today, wasn't he?' ... You're given that, and that does create a culture of maybe where we are now.
"The game is over. You haven't played good in weeks, and weeks, and weeks. The team looked energized and Jalen Hurts played well. 'Is he the starter? Obviously.'
"The 49ers benched Joe Montana for Steve Young just a few years after he'd won two Super Bowls, and still had gone to the playoffs every year after those Super Bowls. It does happen at times."
Simms makes a good point: if Joe Montana isn't above being benched for bad play, no one is. In the NFL, where you only get 16 regular-season games, it's a results-driven league. Wentz wasn't getting results, and Hurts did, at least for a week.
Pederson was slightly more complimentary of Hurts during his Monday press conference, but but still felt restrained.
It's a bizarre way to treat a young player doing a good job. Talking up one player's ability isn't the same thing as putting another player down. They're separate individuals. And if the Eagles can't successfully separate their future as a franchise from Wentz's future, they might both be in trouble.
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