Sudfeld is Glad the Phone Keeps Ringing
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Nate Sudfeld had an opportunity this week and the Eagles quarterback decided being part of a 7-1 team with championship aspirations was a better option than moving up the depth chart by going to Indianapolis.
Fresh off the trade that brought Jay Ajayi to Philadelphia, Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman had another decision to make when the Colts offered an opportunity for Sudfeld to join a much less accomplished quarterback room with Jacoby Brissett and Scott Tolzien.
The spot was opened when Indy decided to shut down superstar Andrew Luck for the year and Sudfeld, who played his college ball at the University of Indiana, was the player GM Chris Ballard wanted.
"I was excited to hear that another team was interested," Sudfeld admitted at his locker on Thursday. "You never want your phone to stop ringing. But I'm very happy and excited to be staying here."
When Roseman got wind of the Colts' interest, he expressed how much the Eagles believed in Sudfeld and backed it up with an offer to elevate the third-string signal caller to the 53-man roster.
"Howie got a hold of me pretty much immediately, and we discussed the prospects of going forward," Sudfeld said. "Fortunately he made the decision to promote me."
As a practice squad player, Sudfeld was free to leave if he wanted even with the promotion being offered. Indianapolis provided the better chance to get on the field this year but Philadelphia felt like the better long-term fit for the former 2016 sixth-round pick.
"I had to weigh my options," he admitted. "I had to consider my future over the next eight weeks as opposed to the next 10 years."
Sudfeld has embraced the same ecosystem that has put Carson Wentz's career on the fast track, one that features former NFL quarterbacks running the offense in head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich, as well as a former college signal caller, John DeFilippo, handling the positional coaching.
"They've taken good care of me since I've been here," Sudfeld admitted. "They've made it clear that they really believe in me."
With all eyes on Ajayi and the dominoes left to fall in the Eagles' running back rotation, a potentially significant development unfolded at practice on Thursday when Philadelphia added Zach Ertz to the injury report.
The talented tight end, who is in the midst of a career year, could not finish the session after tweaking a hamstring and he joined cornerback Ronald Darby (ankle) as the only Eagles players on the active roster who weren't listed as full participants.
Ertz, who has 43 receptions for 528 yards and six touchdowns at the season's midway point, all numbers that lead the team, was seen in the locker room after practice and seemed okay but he did brush off reporters looking for comment.
If Ertz is unable to play Sunday against the Broncos' top-ranked defense that would mean an increased roles for veteran Brent Celek and Trey Burton.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen