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Eagles Backup Quarterback Options

Eagles Backup Quarterback

Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld suffered a broken wrist on Thursday night during their first preseason game against the Tennessee Titans. While starting quarterback Carson Wentz did not play in the game, Sudfeld played nearly the entire first half. However, he suffered a wrist injury against the Titans with just 19 seconds left in the half. The injury occurred during a late hit which officials ruled as a roughing the passer penalty. The Eagles confirmed on Friday that Sudfeld broke his wrist and would be out for six weeks. That means he could return sometime between weeks three to five depending on how quickly he can get back into game mode.

Normally, a backup quarterback suffering an injury would not be that big of a story. However, the situation in Philadelphia is unique. Carson Wentz’s significant injuries the past couple of seasons have made the backup quarterback position important for the Eagles. Nick Foles was able to come in the last two years after Wentz’s injuries and save the team. But this past offseason, Foles left the team and is the starting quarterback for the Jaguars. The Eagles thought Sudfeld, the third-string quarterback in 2017 and 2018, was ready to take over the number two role. His injury and Wentz’s injury concerns mean Philadelphia needs to find a reliable backup until Sudfeld returns.

Eagles backup quarterback
Kessler in Thursday night’s preseason game (Image by Philadelphia Inquirer/Yong Kim)

Currently, the Eagles have Cody Kessler and rookie fifth-round pick Clayton Thorson on their roster. However, neither played very well in Thursday’s preseason game; they will have to perform well the rest of training camp and preseason to give the team confidence. Philadelphia may decide to stick with Kessler, who has starting experience. He has started 12 games over the last three seasons and has an overall 83.7 passer rating. However, the Eagles may decide they need to sign a backup quarterback off the street until Nate Sudfeld fully recovers. If that ends up being the case, here are some of the Eagles backup quarterback options:

Colin Kaepernick

It has been nearly three years since Colin Kaepernick was last on an NFL roster. Some teams have mentioned his name as a possibility, but it seems like no one seriously considered signing him. Kaepernick says he is working hard and training consistently to get another opportunity in the NFL. The blowback has died down from those who opposed his kneeling to the National Anthem. Since it has been so long, it will be easier for a team to take a chance on signing Kaepernick.

The Eagles may very well take that chance, considering their situation at backup quarterback. If Kessler and Thorson do not improve in the preseason, Kaepernick could be a solid option until Sudfeld comes back. He would most likely not receive any playing time anyway, as long as Wentz stays healthy for the first few weeks. He would have to prove he is in football shape, but Kaepernick is someone Philadelphia may consider bringing in.

Sam Bradford

Eagles backup quarterback
Bradford with the Eagles in 2015 (Image by USA Today/Benny Sieu)

It would somewhat ironic if the Eagles decide to sign Bradford as their backup. Not only is Bradford the epitome of injury-prone, but he is also the guy Philly traded in 2016 to make way for Wentz to be the starter. The former number one overall pick and current journeyman has been up and down throughout his NFL career. He will not carry the offense by any means, but when healthy, Sam Bradford is a reliable option as a game manager.

In addition, while there is a chance a newly signed backup will have to play in the first few weeks, it is not particularly high. Because of that, another factor the Eagles will look at is how well their backup can run the scout team and help Wentz in the quarterback room. Bradford may be the perfect man for that job description. Although it was back in 2016, he does have familiarity with Doug Pederson’s playbook and system. He also has familiarity with Carson Wentz, as they worked together during the Eagles 2016 training camp. Sam Bradford might very well be the best option the Eagles have at this point.

Josh McCown

The guy Philadelphia might really want is Josh McCown, who retired this offseason to work at ESPN. If McCown is willing to come out of retirement to be a backup again, it would be to a team like Philadelphia who has talent and Super Bowl aspirations. McCown has proven in previous seasons that he is willing and able to be a mentor for young quarterbacks. While he did not have the physical abilities to be a great NFL quarterback, he certainly has a very high football IQ. With Sudfeld down, it could be nice for Wentz to have someone like McCown in the quarterback room.


Featured Image by USA Today

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