After two back-to-back home losses, the talk within the Eagles fan base has shifted to the quarterback position and rightfully so. Len and I discussed on the Eagles post-game show this past Sunday night that QB Mark Sanchez is without a doubt simply a backup quarterback in this league and for this team; nothing more. He’s been good. He’s been bad and inconsistent. Former NFL coach Dennis Greene would be proud to hear us remark about Sanchez in a truthful fashion when we say, he is who we thought he was. We all know for a fact that Sanchez is not the answer to winning regular and post-season games.
Now, much of the fan base who wanted Sanchez brought in after QB Nick Foles had a rough outing against the Arizona Cardinals in week 8 (where Chip Kelly had him throw 62 passes and the guy completed 36) now is clamoring for Foles to return ASAP. The question is; why hasn’t he been cleared or healed yet?
It had been reported that Foles’ injury would keep him out for an undisclosed period of time. However, the average timetable for a broken collarbone return is approximately four to six weeks. While of course everyone heals differently from injuries, we’re beyond that six week point. Today, we found out that Sanchez will, in fact, start this coming week’s game in Washington and Foles is, once again, a no-go. Kelly said today that the collarbone hasn’t healed yet – and I’m not sure I’m buying it. Perhaps so, but does that mean that Foles can’t play?
As we head into week 7 of the Nick Foles healing process, there’s absolutely no hurrying him back to action. There seems to be a lack of urgency even though there are playoff implications hovering over the Eagles organization. These facts lead me to believe that while Foles might be healthy enough to play and even manage the offense on the field, the Chipper isn’t going to take any chances. He’d rather have QB Matt Barkley backing up Sanchez. Why? Because he wants a 100-percent and completely healthy Foles for the 2015 season. Chip believes that Foles can still grow and has said so on countless occasions last year and during this season. I’m with him on this fact and that’s why we’ll see him starting next year in the shotgun for the Birds.
When looking at an incoming draft class that’s not visibly strong at the quarterback position, it’s easy to understand why Kelly’s exercising extreme caution with this injury. Foles is his guy. Not Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota (we shouldn’t be sold on any rookie named Marcus at this point). Not any free agent (Ryan Nassib and Brian Hoyer will be available at the end of the season). Kelly wants it to be Foles (which means Foles will get a contract at the end of this season). This coach likes to look long-term. He sees the bigger picture and still believes that Nick can progress.
Listen, if the Eagles win their last two games against subpar division teams, it’ll put them at 11-5. Who would have thought such a thing after week 8? Who would have thought that after having the starting QB go down mid-season, major offensive line injuries, RB LeSean McCoy only scoring four touchdowns (thus far), a secondary that isn’t in the realm of good that the Eagles would be a playoff contender?
The Chipper thinks he can get by with Sanchez – at least for now. Our Sanchize won’t be asked to do much (a lot of crossing patterns) and the offense will rely on McCoy and the run game. He has placed on the scale this year’s post-season and the future of his quarterback position. The latter gets the edge as Chip Kelly is already looking to next season.