Doug Pederson Doesn't Rule Out Benching Nick Foles for Nate Sudfeld in Playoffs

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 25: Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles passes the ball against the Oakland Raiders at Lincoln Financial Field on December 25, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday that benching quarterback Nick Foles in favor of backup Nate Sudfeld is a consideration if the offense needs a spark during the playoffs. 

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network passed along Pederson's response when asked if he'd make a change in the postseason given Foles' struggles since he took over for the injured Carson Wentz.

"If you're in desperation mode, who knows?" he said.

However, after the press conference, Pederson messaged Rapoport to say: “My guy is Nick Foles, end of story.”

Foles completed just 56.4 percent of his throws while posting a meager 5.3 yards per attempt across seven appearances during the 2017 season. He also tallied five touchdown passes and four turnovers (two interceptions and two lost fumbles) in those outings, which included three starts.

The 28-year-old University of Arizona product was taken out of Sunday's 6-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys early, as the Eagles already clinched a first-round bye. He connected on just four of his 11 attempts for 39 yards with an interception before exiting.

Sudfeld, a Washington Redskins 2016 sixth-round pick, completed 19 of 23 passes for 134 yards in relief. It was the 24-year-old California native's NFL debut.

Foles told reporters Sunday the offense's lack of production since Wentz suffered a torn ACL in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams shouldn't change the outlook heading into the playoffs.

"We also know what we're capable of and how talented we can be because of how we play together. We're just going to keep working on that, keep our confidence high. There's no reason not to be confident. We have an amazing group of guys, an amazing group of athletes that can do some special stuff. This week we'll go back and analyze everything, have some break, whatever our schedule is, get some great work in and be ready to roll."

Foles looked like a future franchise quarterback when he registered 27 passing touchdowns and only two interceptions across 13 games with the Eagles in 2013. He's been unable to replicate those results in his second stint with the organization, however.

The bye gives Philadelphia an extra week to prepare before it faces either the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers or Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round.

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