James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Carson Wentz’s status remains unclear for Eagles

Eliot Shorr-Parks
January 09, 2019 - 11:29 am

Only one thing is certain right now at the Eagles’ quarterback position — Nick Foles will start on Sunday vs. the New Orleans Saints. 

After that? The rest is unclear. 

At least that was the message that head coach Doug Pederson wanted to send on Wednesday during his press conference, saying he hasn’t decided if Carson Wentz would be dressing on Sunday, leaving the door open for the possibility that he could be on the sideline as a backup. 

“I haven’t decided that yet,” Pederson said. “That is a decision I would make later in the week, but I’m not ready to make that decision yet.”

Wentz has not played since the Eagles’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14 due to a back injury. Despite that, Pederson wouldn’t commit to Foles as his quarterback the rest of the playoffs, saying it was a one-game season.  

“This week,” Pederson said of if Foles would start the rest of the way. “It is a one-and-done season right now.”

Although it is understandable to a certain degree as to why Pederson wouldn’t give out any information on Wentz, his answers were interesting. The head coach went on to say that Wentz was feeling better, but it was clear that he did not really want to discuss Wentz's status. 

Here are some thoughts on everything that is going on with Wentz: 

** Pederson not ruling out Wentz for Sunday is odd. The chances of Wentz, who hasn’t practiced in over a month, dressing as the backup have to be considered extremely thin — if not completely unrealistic all together. Pederson hasn’t ruled Wentz out for any of the games early on in the week since Wentz went down, so his answer wasn’t out of the ordinary. Still, Pederson obviously feels there is some kind of benefit in keeping alive the idea that Wentz could be a backup. It is hard to see what that benefit is, however. 

** It is also fair to wonder if the Eagles would even dress Wentz in a game inwhich he was going to backup to Foles. The optics of that would not be good — it would mean they were essentially benching Wentz, and deciding to play Foles over him. That isn’t ideal for a player that, in theory, the Eagles view as their franchise quarterback. You also have to wonder how Wentz would feel about being cleared to play but not being the starter. 

** On the flip side, letting optics potentially get in the way of the Eagles winning a game isn’t fair to the other players on the team. Although third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld has some potential, and has been practicing for the last month, it is hard to make the case that he gives the Eagles a better chance to win over Wentz. Even at 80%, Wentz should give the Eagles a better chance to win than Sudfeld would. If they believe Wentz could play in a game, and could play if Foles were to go down with an injury, they owe it to the rest of the roster to dress him as a backup. 

** The questions about Wentz are a reminder that even with the success this team is having now, the problem they have at quarterback isn't going anywhere. The Eagles have a backup quarterback, with a Super Bowl MVP on his resume, outplaying they player they want to be their franchise. There is no getting around that. If Foles goes into New Orleans and beats the Saints, the problem is just going to get bigger. Keeping Wentz active and keeping alive the idea he could be dressed on gameday is only adding fuel to the fire, and only keeping alive a topic the team clearly does not want to be discussing. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

Tags: