The Eagles got some good news on Carson Wentz’s ailing back. Good enough to prevent him from being the Eagles’ 13th player placed on Injured Reserve, but not good enough to have him return to the starting quarterback on Sunday when the Eagles host the Houston Texans.
Really, though, Wentz could be 100 percent healthy and it may not matter. Not after the way Nick Foles stepped in and helped lead the Eagles to a 30-23 upset of the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night.
“Where Carson is health-wise and just another week of rest for Carson will help him, so made the decision to go forward with Nick,” said head coach Doug Pederson when he met with reporters on Monday.
Pederson would not commit to Foles beyond Sunday. The Eagles will have only game remaining coming out of Sunday’s game and that will be on the road in Washington to play the Redskins. There could even be playoff football if Foles continues to help this team win.
“It's a bridge we'll cross, if we get there,” said Pederson. “We still have a lot of football left. But right now, we're going to stay committed to this week. I'm not going to look any further than just the Houston Texans this week, and one day, I'm sure we'll cross that bridge.”
Pederson is keeping Wentz as a viable option because, as he said, Wentz is still the number one quarterback, and they got some good news on the stress fracture Wentz endured at some point during the season.
Last week, Pederson said Wentz’s injury would take about three months to heal. That isn’t the case now.
“We got a little more information, and this is probably why I don't like to put timetables or put players in boxes, so things have changed just a little bit,” said the coach. “He'll be listed as week-to-week. We will not put him on IR. Obviously when he's healthy, he's our quarterback and we'll go from there.”
Asked if there is a chance for further damage if the stress fracture is not fully healed, Pederson said, “That’s something we'll continue to monitor with him and our doctors and make that determination when we can.”
Foles completed 24 of 31 passes against the Rams for 270 yards, one interception and an 89.4 passer rating. It was his third highest single-game completion percentage of his career, trailing only his game vs. Chicago (84 percent) on Dec. 22, 2013 and his seven touchdown performance against the Oakland Riaders when he completed 78.57 percent on Nov. 3, 2013.
Pederson said that part of a reason for Foles’ success had to do with a slimmed down game plan, a game plan that would have been reduced even if Wentz was still starting.
Pederson and offensive coordinator Mike Groh got together following last week’s overtime loss in Dallas and condensed the offense.
“We felt like we just kind of needed to get back to the basics just a little bit,” said Pederson. “So this was before, the Carson, Nick deal last week, we decided to go forward with that and put together a game plan that would be conducive for anybody, any of our quarterbacks.
“And so I think that's what you saw that came out of the game, which was a credit to Mike and putting the plan together like he did. Gave Nick, as we went through the week last week, every opportunity to comment on the game plan, if there were things he didn't like, just like we would with Carson. And there were a couple things, but for the most part, Foles felt comfortable with it. Didn't really have to change a whole lot, or at least go back to last season to pull anything from last year.”
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