Figure on Foles Getting Some Work vs. Cowboys
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - After a poor performance in a bowling-shoe ugly Christmas night win over the Oakland Raiders, Nick Foles figures he will not be getting New Year's Eve off.
While coach Doug Pederson won't address his plans for the meaningless Week 17 finale against Dallas until Friday morning, Foles has been approaching things like he and not backup Nate Sudfeld will be the starter against the Cowboys.
“I haven’t been told otherwise, so my preparation stays the same," the veteran said at his weekly press briefing on Thursday. "... I’m preparing to play the Cowboys.
Foles, of course, has started the last two games since Carson Wentz's season-ending torn left ACL, performing very well in North Jersey against the New York Giants before taking a major step back in the 19-10 win over Oakland.
Foles finished 19-of-38 for 163 yards with a touchdown and an interception for a dismal 59.4 passer rating against the Raiders in a game with some trying weather conditions, winds chills in the teens due to gusts up to 20 MPH.
The prevailing thought around the NovaCare Complex is that the Eagles want Foles to end the regular season on a high note and his workload will depend on how the offensive performs early vs. the Cowboys. If it's sharp, his appearance could be a cameo. If not, it could be a half with Sudfeld taking over after intermission.
Better third-down play has been the focus this week after the Eagles finished 1-of-14 on football's most important down against the Raiders.
“I think the big thing is, first and second down, it’s real important to get completions, stay inside the chains,” Foles explained. “I think we went to a lot of second-and-long, third-and-long. That puts you in tough positions.”
Pederson hinted about his plan for Foles on Monday.
"I can't worry about that [potential injury]," the coach said. "I got to play and get him as many reps as he can, and then be smart about it. We have a lot of football left. Our season really is just beginning, quite honestly. But we'll be smart and make good decisions there as a coaching staff."
THURSDAY NOVACARE NOTES:
-One player who likely will not be suiting up against Dallas is star defensive end Brandon Graham, who injured his ankle in Monday's win over the Raiders.Graham, who leads the Eagles with 9 1/2 sacks, was again estimated as not participating in a walk-through practice for the second consecutive day.
Long-term Graham will be fine. He was moving well in the locker room but Philadelphia will not be pushing the issue. Veteran Chris Long will likely start in Graham's place and Steven Means, a high-energy player in the mold of Graham, will also get a big opportunity.
-A day after Lane Johnson said "I'm done" talking to the media, the Pro Bowl right tackle was true to his word for at least 24 hours. Johnson was not seen during the 45-minute open locker-room period on Thursday.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen