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Bears HC Matt Nagy 'Absolutely' Understands Nick Foles Buzz After Carson Wentz Injury

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 31, 2021

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 08: Head coach Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears talks with quarterback Nick Foles #9 during the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on November 08, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy said Saturday he "absolutely" understands why quarterback Nick Foles' name popped up in trade rumors after the Indianapolis Colts' Carson Wentz suffered a foot injury.

"And you're talking about a Super Bowl MVP and a guy that's started a lot of games," Nagy told reporters. "He's had a really interesting career in so many ways that I just think that he deserves that. I mean, anybody that's had the career he has is somebody that's always going to be ... for all teams, as a third-string guy, teams are going to look at guys like him."

While the Colts await further information about the extent of Wentz's injury, they announced the signing of Brett Hundley to join a quarterback depth chart that also features Jacob Eason, Sam Ehlinger and Jalen Morton, who were expected to compete for the backup job in training camp.

The situation will become more pressing if Wentz will be sidelined for an extended period of time.

Foles, who led the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl LII title while replacing an injured Wentz during the 2017 season, opened Bears camp third on the depth chart behind Andy Dalton and rookie Justin Fields.

Nagy credited the 32-year-old Texas native for how he's handled the situation:

"I would say probably 95 percent of people in Nick's situation would handle it completely opposite of the way he's handled it, from the time that I brought him in and told him that he was going be the third-string quarterback. And I have to give so much credit to him because he accepted it. He understood it. Was he happy about it? No. But he understood it. ... From the time we got to OTAs until now, we all talked about how impressed we are with how he's handled himself in that role."

Foles struggled across nine appearances (seven starts) for the Bears in 2020. He completed 64.7 percent of his throws for 1,852 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He ranked 32nd in ESPN's Total QBR and received a lackluster 66.5 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

Yet, he'd represent an experienced option for the Colts, who are aiming to reach the playoffs for the third time in the past four seasons.

There's been no indication Indianapolis' front office has reached out to Chicago, but it's a trade that would make a lot of sense on paper given the Bears' crowded QB roomβ€”Foles is competing for playing time with rookie first-round pick Justin Fields and fellow veteran Andy Daltonβ€”and the Colts' sudden need for veteran depth.

Indy is scheduled to open the preseason Aug. 15 when it hosts the Carolina Panthers.