Eagles Make Surprise Roster Move, QB Competition Heats Up

Nate Sudfeld

Getty Images Nate Sudfeld is competing for the No. 2 job at camp. Is he good enough?

The Eagles don’t appear ready to quarantine a quarterback. In fact, they have slimmed their depth chart down to three signal-callers.

The team announced on Monday it had waived Philadelphia native Kyle Lauletta and added receiver Marcus Green to the roster. Lauletta, the fourth-string quarterback out of Downingtown East, had been signed to a futures contract at the end of last season. Now he’s gone and Green returns to the nest after spending last year on the Eagles’ practice squad. The team has just three quarterbacks on the active roster — Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Jalen Hurts — while upping the receivers room to 11 players.

Obviously Wentz is the clear-cut starter and he’ll handle the majority of the first-team reps this week as the Eagles begin “live” padded practices. The backup job is assumed to be an open competition between Hurts and Sudfeld, although the coaching staff has repeatedly hinted at Sudfeld having the edge. The veteran has experience running the offense, something needed during this pandemic-driven offseason. Head coach Doug Pederson updated how the snaps may shake out.

“Carson and some of the number two guys, Nate Sudfeld, are going to have to take the bulk of the reps,” Pederson told reporters on Monday. “But I know as we get closer toward the regular season we got to make some decisions, and we’ll make them at that time. Now that we’re in this protected bubble here we can really prepare our starters in these next couple weeks, and get them ready to go.”

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No Timetable for Alshon Jeffery’s Return

The Eagles are finally allowed to line up and hit each other, with pads and game faces on. Some players, like Alshon Jeffery, are still rehabbing and won’t be out on the grass this week.

Pederson didn’t provide a timetable for Jeffery’s return, although he said the receiver is doing “extremely well” in his recovery from offseason foot surgery.

“Alshon is doing extremely well. Obviously, as you guys know, there is no timetable for him,” Pederson told reporters. “We’re just trying to make sure that he’s 100-percent before we return him to action. But he’s doing extremely well and he’s progressing nicely where we want him to be at this particular time and he continues to progress in the right direction.”

Pederson went on to praise veterans DeSean Jackson and Greg Ward for their leadership of the pass-catchers group. He also expressed excitement about what he’s seen so far out of first-round pick Jalen Reagor. The head coach can’t wait to see how all the rookies move with pads on and react to contact.

“Jalen Reagor has really been impressive out on the football field,” Pederson said. “It’ll be interesting as we get into pads, the physicality of all these guys.”

‘Thoroughly Impressed’ with Carson Wentz

Lane Johnson mentioned yesterday that Carson Wentz had made a real concerted effort to improve as a leader in the offseason, particularly in regard to being more vocal in the huddle.

Pederson provided a similar assessment on Monday as he complimented Wentz’s ability to “coach up” the younger players and establish a really good rapport with the new receivers. The 27-year-old quarterback is the team’s undisputed leader.

“I’ve been thoroughly impressed,” Pederson said of Wentz. “He has come into camp in great shape. He’s the leader of our football team. He’s coaching up the young players which is great to see. He’s working well with DeSean [Jackson] and Greg Ward and the guys that were on the field, JJ [Arcega-Whiteside], the guys that were on the field at the end of the season last year and getting a really good rapport with them.”

Not only that but Wentz has taken his responsibility to greater lengths off the field, in the middle of a pandemic.

“And really taking ownership in this pandemic, where we are as a football team,” Pederson said, “and I’ve been very excited about where he is right now, as the leader of our football team and excited for this upcoming season with him.”

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