The Eagles made a quarterback change Sunday. Time will tell if it’s for good.
With Philadelphia trailing big in the third quarter, rookie Jalen Hurts replaced Carson Wentz and closed out a 30-16 loss to the Packers.
The 2020 second-round pick produced instant offense, converting a third down with a 34-yard pass to fellow rookie Jalen Reagor in his first series. He briefly became the team’s leading rusher on the day after scrambling for a pair of first downs during his second drive, which he punctuated with a 32-yard touchdown to Greg Ward on fourth-and-18.
The Eagles soon cut the lead to seven, thanks to a Reagor punt return for a TD. They had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth but punted after a drive stalled on their side of the field. Hurts, in the first extended action of his career, finished 5-of-12 for 109 yards with the TD and an interception while rushing for 29 yards and taking three sacks.
Philly coach Doug Pederson said afterward he needs to evaluate the tape before deciding who starts next week versus the Saints.
“We needed a spark in this game to try to get some things going,” Pederson said, per NBC Philadelphia. “I’ve got to get through injuries. There’s a lot of things I’m going to consider and evaluate before anything is decided”
The spark from Hurts could be enough to make Sunday’s switch stick. Speculation on Wentz’s benching has existed for weeks, with Pederson asserting that the decision was his “if and when we make that change.” It was a notably softer stance than the one Pederson, who’s on the hot seat himself, had been taking throughout the year in support of his struggling starter.
Wentz completed just 6-of-15 passes for 79 yards and was sacked four times prior to being pulled amid a 20-3 deficit. Philadelphia scored a field goal on the game’s opening possession but punted on three of its next four drives with Wentz — it faced fourth-and-13 as the first half ended during the fifth drive.