Nate Sudfeld

Nate Sudfeld returns to practice a month after surgery

Nate Sudfeld returns to practice a month after surgery

Quarterback Nate Sudfeld was back at practice on a limited basis Wednesday, his first work since he broke his wrist a month ago.

Sudfeld broke his left (non-throwing) wrist in the preseason opener against the Titans at the Linc on Aug. 8 and underwent surgery the next day.

“I was like a kid in a candy store,” Sudfeld said after practice. “It was so much fun just being out there and running around a little bit.”

Sudfeld had his surgically repaired left wrist taped up with a soft cast underneath it. He remains limited in what he can do, but it was a big step for the third-year quarterback.

Since Sudfeld got hurt, the Eagles signed 40-year-old veteran Josh McCown, who is currently Carson Wentz's backup. They also released Cody Kessler and Clayton Thorson and added former New York Giant Kyle Lauletta to their practice squad.  

The Eagles signed Sudfeld to their practice squad just before the 2017 season after he was released by the Redskins, who drafted him in the sixth round in the spring of 2016 and hoped to get him onto their practice squad.

He’s 20-for-25 for 156 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions and a 106.0 passer rating in very limited action as a pro. He was Nick Foles' backup throughout the 2017 and 2018 postseason runs.

The Eagles also list Derek Barnett (shoulder) and Fletcher Cox (toe) as limited, both with their injuries lingering from last year, although both played on Sunday and are expected to play in Atlanta this weekend.

Linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (knee sprain) and offensive tackle Jordan Mailata (back) are both out indefinitely and did not practice.

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Why trading Nate Sudfeld to Colts after Andrew Luck’s retirement would make sense

USA Today Images/Bill Streicher

Why trading Nate Sudfeld to Colts after Andrew Luck’s retirement would make sense

We were all enjoying our Saturday evenings when ESPN’s Adam Schefter dropped a bomb on us. The kind that made us furiously check to make sure it wasn’t a fake Twitter account. 

And with that news, the next thought from an Eagles perspective is this: 

Would it make sense to trade Nate Sudfeld to Indy? 

The short answer: Absolutely. 

With Andrew Luck’s retirement, Jacoby Brissett will take over as the Colts’ starting quarterback. Lucky for them, they had the best backup quarterback in the league as their 29-year-old franchise quarterback decided to walk away. In 2017, Brissett started 15 games for the Colts and had a pretty good season. 

But now this means former Broncos’ seventh-round pick Chad Kelly is the Colts’ backup quarterback. If they’re not content with that (and they probably shouldn’t be), Sudfeld would make a ton of sense for both sides. 

There are plenty of reasons: 

• Sure, Sudfeld is injured right now, but he’s been healing from that broken left wrist and is already out of the hard cast. He could return by as early as late September, although October is likely be more realistic. So if the Colts can hang tight until then with Kelly as their backup, Sudfeld could still be the No. 2 in Indy for most of the season. Sudfeld’s injury isn’t the type that will linger. It’s not like this is a soft-tissue injury; once he’s cleared, he’ll be good to go. 

And the Colts have a good enough roster that they should still be in win-now mode even after Luck’s retirement. 

• Sudfeld has plenty of familiarity with Colts head coach Frank Reich, who was previously the Eagles’ offensive coordinator. Sudfeld and Reich were together during the Super Bowl season in 2017, when the Eagles stuck with Sudfeld as their backup into the playoffs after Carson Wentz’s injury despite Sudfeld’s lack of experience. Reich and Sudfeld have a very good relationship. 

• Even before Reich became the head coach in Indy, the Colts were interested in Sudfeld. Remember, they were the team that tried to sign him off the Eagles’ practice squad during the 2017 season. The Eagles reacted and added Sudfeld to their 53-man roster to avoid losing him. 

• After bringing Josh McCown out of retirement, the Eagles are pretty set at their backup quarterback spot. Moving Sudfeld would even eliminate the eventual decision of what to do with that spot when he’s healthy. 

• The Eagles just drafted Clayton Thorson in the fifth round out of Northwestern. Thorson has looked good at times this preseason and could possibly take over for McCown as the Eagles’ backup QB in 2020. 

• Sudfeld is 25 and is getting paid just over $3 million this season after the Eagles used a second-round RFA tender on him this offseason. There’s a good chance Sudfeld gets a contract elsewhere after this season and would be gone anyway. This would give Howie Roseman a chance to recoup something for him before he leaves. 

• This isn’t the best reason to pull off a trade, but Sudfeld probably has plenty of fans in Indiana. He played his college ball for the Hoosiers about an hour drive away from Indianapolis. 

Ever since the Eagles signed Sudfeld to their practice squad in 2017, they’ve really liked him. At every turn, they’ve shown confidence in him. So maybe it would be tough to trade him away. But this type of deal would make sense for both sides if they could agree on the right price. 

Roseman should be on the phone before the shock wears off in Indy. 

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Cody Kessler back at practice, but is it too late?

Cody Kessler back at practice, but is it too late?

Cody Kessler has gone from competing with Nate Sudfeld for the Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback job to clinging to a roster spot.

Such is life in the NFL.

Kessler returned to practice Monday, just four days after suffering a concussion seven plays into the Eagles’ preseason game against the Jaguars in Jacksonville.

According to NFL concussion policy, if he experiences no additional symptoms 24 hours after practice — which is early tomorrow afternoon — he’ll formally be cleared out of concussion protocol.

It was a quick recovery, but it may be too late.

With Kessler’s struggles, the Eagles adding veteran Josh McCown and rookie Clayton Thorson putting together a strong preseason performance against the Jags, Kessler is on thin ice.

And he knows it.

I can’t think, ‘What’s the plan here, what’s going to happen,’ and start playing all these scenarios in my head, which is tough to do,” Kessler said after practice. “I’ve just got to come out and practice, keep going, getting ready to play Thursday and hopefully next week and then just go from there.

Doug Pederson was clear before training camp that there was open competition between Sudfeld and Kessler for the No. 2 job.

But since Sudfeld broke his wrist in the preseason opener, Kessler has only hurt his chances. 

He was a combined 4-for-10 for 23 yards in two preseason games before suffering the concussion in Jacksonville.

I was looking forward to that game, I was excited, had that first drive moving a little bit, had a little rhythm going, and then obviously things that were out of my control happened and you’ve kind of just got to go with it,” Kessler said. “The best thing is I’ve known Josh for a long time, he’s one of the closest people to me through football that I’ve met. I understood it with me being out.

Kessler and McCown were teammates with the Browns in 2016. Both began the season backing up Robert Griffin III, who ironically was at the NovaCare Complex as well on Monday as he starts his second season with the Ravens.

Now what? Sudfeld won’t be back for a while, McCown just came out of retirement and Thorson is a rookie fifth-round pick.

But Kessler hasn’t done anything to take ownership of a roster spot, and as of now, he’s on the outside looking in.

You can’t think about all those scenarios,” he said. “You can play out different things that could happen: ‘What if this, what if that, what are they going to do,’ trying to think about that, but at the end of the day it’s completely up to the front office, and my role is to come out here and compete and hopefully Thursday get a chance to compete again.

The Eagles finish the preseason Thursday at the Linc against the Ravens and a week from Thursday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford against the Jets.

With Carson Wentz not expected to play in either game and Sudfeld hurt, Kessler should get a chance to redeem himself. But with Thorson and McCown both likely to play extensively, it’s not a lock.

I’ve seen a lot of things happen,” Kessler said. “My rookie year in Cleveland with Josh, we had RG(3), who’s here also today, he got hurt, Josh got hurt, I come in, something else happened - we had like five or six quarterbacks by the end of the year. Stuff like that is crazy. … I felt like I put a really good camp together. Unfortunate really didn’t get to show that Thursday. It sucks, something you can’t control, but just trying to pick up where I left off and look forward to this week.

Kessler is with his third team in three years, and he’s running out of time to give the Eagles a reason to keep him.

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