Eagles name Jalen Hurts starting QB for Sunday's game against Saints

Jalen Hurts #2 warms up as Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on against the Seattle Seahawks at Lincoln Financial Field on November 30, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Jalen Hurts will be the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback on Sunday, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.

ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen cited sources when they broke the news on Tuesday afternoon, a day after coach Doug Pederson stated he had yet to make a decision on who would start Sunday. 

The team confirmed Hurts had been named the starter a short time later. 

"I have come to a decision and I am going to go with Jalen Hurts this week against New Orleans. I looked at the whole thing and decided that for this week to look for that spark again to try to get the team over the hump," Coach Pederson said in a statement. 

"Carson is like all of us right now, he's disappointed. He's frustrated," Pederson added. "He's been a professional through it all. He supports his teammates and that's what you want to see from him, the leader of the team. I know sometimes the quarterback gets a lot of the blame like the head coach does. It's the good with the bad. It's not about Carson Wentz. It's not about one person. We know we have issues on offense and it has been a struggle for us all season. That's where the frustration lies a little bit, but he's been a pro and would expect nothing less."

Wentz was benched in the second half of a 30-16 loss at Green Bay on Sunday following another subpar performance during the worst season of his five-year career. Hurts provided a spark against a defense that played softer coverage with a 20-point lead. He tossed a 32-yard touchdown pass but also threw an interception and was sacked three times after the Packers went back to their aggressive scheme.

“I’m still processing a lot of things and going through a lot of things before I make that decision,” Pederson said Monday.

Pederson made it clear he had final say on the decision and he was not seeking much input.

“This will be my decision,” he said. “I don’t feel like I need to communicate with anybody, players, other coaches. I think it’s just, again, it’s obviously my decision, the opportunity that I have moving forward, and it will solely be up to me.”

Wentz signed a $128 million, four-year contract extension that kicks in next season. Hurts was a second-round pick this year. Pederson’s decision affects the team’s future, so owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman will want to provide their thoughts.

“He and I are definitely in a situation that we’ve got to work ourselves out of,” Pederson said. “My job is to help him and to help him improve and to get better and to help this football team win. My job is also to take and look at the big picture, too, and look at the entire football team, right? Those are all things that I’ve got to consider as we move forward.”

Pederson and Wentz came to Philadelphia in 2016. They led the Eagles to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title in 2017. Wentz was 11-2 before a knee injury forced him to watch Nick Foles lead the Eagles through the playoffs and victory over New England.

Wentz finished third in NFL MVP voting that season, and last year he became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards without one wide receiver having 500 yards receiving.

But Wentz has struggled this season. He has a career-low 72.8 passer rating and 19 turnovers, including 15 interceptions. He hasn’t had much help. The injury-depleted offensive line has allowed 53 sacks, and his young, inexperienced receivers often aren’t open.

“I’m not going to sit here and point the finger or point blame, especially at the quarterback position, because there’s enough to go around,” Pederson said.


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