PHILADELPHIA ( - We are now past the point of no return when it comes to meaningful players and significant preseason playing time.

And Nick Foles has yet to take one snap for the Philadelphia Eagles due to what is being called elbow soreness.

To some, that's not that big of a deal because Carson Wentz is now the leader of the Eagles and if everything goes swimmingly, Foles isn't scheduled to see the field unless it's in mop-up duty in the off chance there is a blowout in a league defined by parity.

And worries about Wentz's ability to stay healthy himself after an injury-plagued stay at North Dakota State as well as a broken rib in his first NFL preseason game were alleviated when he was on the field for all but six offensive snaps during his rookie season.

If Wentz can prove to have Manning-like durability for the long-term, Matt McGloin can rock the baseball cap just as well as Foles but if you need the backup for a game or two in a division that's probably going to be decided by a game or two, well you better have a competent option.

In the seven seasons prior to Wentz's arrival in Philadelphia, the backups were forced to play in each season with the low-water mark being two games, by Kevin Kolb in 2009 and Mark Sanchez in 2015.

The Foles' issue manifested itself early in training camp before the veteran returned to practice. He was able to participate in the first of two joint-practice sessions with the Miami Dolphins last week.

By the second day, however, Foles was back on the sideline and was obviously shut down for the dress-rehearsal preseason game on Thursday night, a 38-31 Eagles' triumph.

Ordinarily the final preseason game against the Jets would be strictly a McGloin/Dane Evans affair but if Foles is able, he would almost have take a few reps.

"I don't know," coach Doug Pederson said when asked about Foles getting in some live action. "I haven't made up my mind yet and where I'm at with that."

Pederson again deflected serious concern, though.

"He got a little sore during the week with the Dolphins," the coach claimed. "He had a lot of throws because he missed so much time early in camp, and then coming back, he got more throws [and] more intense throws against the Dolphins. It just got a little sore on him, so I just didn't want to push him. Again, the more rest that you can get on that elbow, the better. I'm confident with Nick having coached him in the past and [with him] being a veteran quarterback and understanding our system. The rest will definitely help him."

Actions will speak louder than words here.

McGloin has been like an overused relief pitcher as Foles had kicked back this summer, throwing it 88 times over three August games to date. The third-option hasn't been all that impressive, though, so the Eagles have a conundrum when it comes to the 53-man roster.

If Foles really is healthy and the team is just being overly cautious, McGloin will likely be jettisoned. If the surgeons are on speed dial, however, Philadelphia obviously has to keep the Penn State product around and hope Wentz proves to be very sturdy again.

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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