Eagles-Titans: Sudfeld Suffers Broken Wrist in Ugly Setback
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Nate Sudfeld needed the work, the Eagles didn't need another injury.
With the majority of starters watching, the summer of Sudfeld commenced in South Philadelphia and almost lasted 30 minutes during a 27-10 setback to the Tennessee Titans.
With under 30 seconds to go until halftime, Sudfeld, Carson Wentz's presumptive new backup with Nick Foles in Jacksonville, was driven into the turf by Titans backup defensive end Isaiah Mack. The result was a personal foul on Mack and the drive extended for Philadelphia but Sudfeld was in visible pain after landing awkwardly on his left wrist.
Ultimately he was taken to the blue injury tent before being carted off with an air cast on his left arm. Cody Kessler finished the half for the Eagles at QB and started the third quarter.
Sudfeld finished his night 10-for-18 for 177 yards and a 75-yard TD to Marken Michel with a 107.9 passer rating, passing his first test until the dark turn.
Michel, who has excelled at times in the spring and summer, got single coverage on the back-side and Sudfeld took advantage of solid pass protection to hit the former CFL star in stride.
The Eagles top three rookies also made their debuts with Andre Dillard starting at left tackle for Jason Peters, Miles Sanders working in for one of the few projected starters who did play, Jordan Howard, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who got plenty of first-team reps with the top three receivers, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor, sitting out.
Dillard was as advertised in pass protection while Sanders wasn't the second coming of Shady McCoy, at least not yet, amassing three yards on three carries and having issues in blitz pickup. Arcega-Whiteside was Sudfeld's second-most trafficked target behind Dallas Goedert, catching two passes for 23 yards.
"Not really jittery or anxious anymore," Sanders said on his first taste of the NFL. "I am just ready to get back to work on Saturday [at the next practice] and get ready for the next preseason game."
Dr. David Cho, a former team physician for the then-San Diego Chargers, assessed the Sudfeld injury as a left wrist fracture, something that will likely not be season-ending because it's on Sudfeld's non-throwing side.
After the game, Doug Pederson confirmed that diagnosis and said Sudfeld would be having surgery on Friday.
"It's not season-ending so we are excited about that," the Eagles coach said. "After surgery, we will have more of an update for you."
The QBs behind Sudfeld -- Kessler and rookie Clayton Thorson -- did not perform well with the veteran completing 3-of-6 passes for 12 yards and the rookie performing even worse, finishing 2-of-9 for 7 yards and a 0.0 passer rating.
"Right now we are comfortable with who we've got," Pederson said when asked about bringing in another signal-caller. "We are comfortable with Cody and obviously get Clayton more work."
Kessler, who has 12 NFL starts between Cleveland and Jacksonville, may need to be Wentz's backup into the season if Howie Roseman can't find an improvement outside the organization in the coming weeks.
"It's nowhere near where those guys who have been here three years are," Kessler said of his comfort with the offense. "But, it's getting there. The biggest part of it is repetition."
EAGLES PRESEASON STOCK MARKET:
Daeshon Hall - The rangy defensive end took advantage of moving up a notch after Joe Ostman's ACL injury, providing the most consistent pressure of the night from the left end position. Hall stuffed the stat sheet with six tackles, a sack, three tackles for loss and two QB hurries despite banging up his shoulder.
Dallas Goedert - The second-year tight end and Jordan Howard were the only starting-caliber offensive players who were dressed and Goedert quickly asserted himself as Sudfeld's top target, snaring a 24-yard seam pass and finishing with a team-high three receptions for 50 yards.
Andre Dillard and Jordan Mailata - Dillard is the real deal as a pass protector and Mailata settled down after a tough camp against Ostman sliding between right and left tackle and back again.
The Running Game: It's supposed to be much-improved but we didn't see that tonight with all the backs combining for 37 yards on 17 carries and Josh Adams fumbled. Now Peters, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Isaac Seumalo and Brandon Brooks didn't play so that needs to be taken into account.
Clayton Thorson: You hope it was just nerves but Thorson had a ton of experience at Northwestern in a major conference and his accuracy wasn't great there but it was woeful tonight. One thing scouts usually agree on is if you are not accurate at the college level, it generally doesn't improve in the pro game.
Josh Hawkins and Jeremiah McKinnon: Many have gushed about the Eagles depth at cornerback and have remarked that Hawkins and McKinnon look like NFL players. Not tonight after making Logan Woodside looked better than Marcus Mariota or Ryan Tannehill. The Eagles need Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills healthy.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen