Report: Many Eagles Players, Coaches Were 'Outraged' by Pederson Benching Hurts

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2021

Philadelphia Eagles' Doug Pederson walks the field before an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)
Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

The New York Giants apparently weren't the only ones upset with Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson's decision to bench quarterback Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Washington Football Team.

According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, "many Eagles players and coaches were shocked and outraged" by the move. "Hurts was distraught," while center Jason Kelce was among two offensive players who approached Pederson to ask why he made the move.

"Two defensive players had to be held back from approaching Pederson," McLane wrote.

The report also said members of the Eagles coaching staff thought Pederson likely made the move as a way of tanking to secure the No. 6 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft with the loss instead of the No. 9 one with a win.

"Some speculated that most wouldn't have cared had Pederson communicated his plans to the team, or publicly stated his intention to treat the finale like a preseason game and insert Sudfeld at some point," McLane wrote.

The result was a dreadful performance from Sudfeld in the clutch as Washington clinched the NFC East crown with a win.

He finished 5-of-12 for 32 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception while also taking two sacks and losing a fumble.

Hurts wasn't much better when it came to throwing the ball at 7-of-20 for 72 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. However, he ran for two touchdowns and clearly would have given Philadelphia a better chance to win given what unfolded after Sudfeld entered the game.

The Giants were the biggest losers of all, as they would have won the division if Philadelphia defeated Washington.

New York head coach Joe Judge said his team would never "disrespect the game" in such a fashion:

Giants Videos @SNYGiants

Joe Judge talks about the sacrifice it took to make this season happen: "To disrespect the game by going out there & not competing for 60 minutes to doing everything you can to help those players win - we will never do that as long as I'm the head coach of the New York Giants." https://t.co/TXMZOumjZh

Still, the Giants went 6-10 this season. Perhaps they should have won more of their own games rather than get upset with Pederson's decision to play Sudfeld in what was largely a meaningless game for Philadelphia.


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