Jalen Hurts named Eagles starter for Week 14 against Saints, Carson Wentz demoted to backup


The Philadelphia Eagles seem poised to embark on a new era. As the club prepare to face the New Orleans Saints in Week 14, they will do so with rookie Jalen Hurts as the starting quarterback, the team confirmed on Tuesday. Carson Wentz, the incumbent from Philly, will now be demoted to Hurts’ backup.

The move from head coach Doug Pederson comes after Wentz’s struggles throughout 2020 bled in the Eagles’ Week 13 game with the Green Bay Packers. The former No.2 pick in the 2016 draft completed just six of his 15 passes for 79 yards and a passer rating of just 57.4. With a poor performance unfolding once again, Pederson opted to give Hurts extended time under center midway through the third quarter and the Oklahoma product provided a noticeable spark on offense, including this 32-yard touchdown pass to Greg Ward.

Hurts – who finished with 109 passing yards, including that touchdown and a pick – was won in the second round of the 2020 Draft in Oklahoma, which was an early indication that Wentz could be on thin ice on the approach. of this season. Judging by how the offense looked when you traded those quarterbacks, it makes Philly’s reasoning to go with Hurts a bit easier to understand. With Hurts under center in that game, Philadelphia’s offense averaged 6.29 yards per game on four possession, which is a notable jump from 3.52 yards per game on Wentz’s five possessions. in this same fight.

“I try to do what I can do for this team. I think it’s that easy, ”Hurts said on Sunday after passing under the cross. “Work hard everyday, do my best and bring someone with me. I’m trying to lead and put this thing in the right direction. So anything that can help this team. ”

For Wentz, it’s officially the bottom of a 2020 season where bad throws and indecision plagued him to the point that he’s now a substitute. He ranks second-to-last among qualifying quarterbacks in percentage completion (57.4%) and just below the league in most other categories. Wentz has also been sacked 50 times this season. All of this is a real drop from grace for a quarterback who has been fairly recently seen as one of the bright and promising players at the position in the league.

“At the end of the day, it’s out of my control,” said Wentz when asked from the Hurts bench in midweek 13. “It’s not for me (to decide). I know what I’m capable of. I know I can play better. I never doubted myself or lost confidence in my abilities. But a lot of these things are beyond my control. ”

What’s interesting now is Wentz’s long-term future in Philadelphia as it is nearly impossible to cut or trade. He is signed until 2024 and has massive success over the next few seasons, particularly 2021, where the Eagles are sitting with almost $ 60 million in dead cap money. Things ease a bit in 2022, but the number of dead caps of $ 24.5 million is still substantial. Trading him would be difficult this offseason as a team should be willing and able to absorb their over 30million cap over the next four seasons.

While the answer to who will go for the Eagles in Week 14 has been answered with this decision to go with Hurts, it brings a mountain of other questions that Philly will eventually have to answer.


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