Rookie Jalen Hurts will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday when they host the New Orleans Saints. He replaces the team’s franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, who has struggled for the Eagles, who have fallen from NFC East champions in 2019 to a 3-8-1 record this season.
“I have come to a decision and I am going to go with Jalen Hurts this week against New Orleans,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson told the team website. “We’re not where we want to be as an offense. I looked at the whole thing and decided that for this week to look for that spark again to try to get the team over the hump, to try to get everybody playing better.”
Wentz was benched in the third quarter of Sunday’s 30-16 loss to Green Bay after completing just six of 15 pass attempts for 79 yards. Hurts, the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2019, was 5-of-12 passing for 109 yards, throwing one touchdown pass and one interception as his replacement.
Wentz, 27, is in the midst of the worst season of his five-year career. He leads the league in interceptions (15) and sacks (50), and is 31st in completion percentage (57.4).He will serve as the No2 quarterback for Philadelphia against the Saints (10-2).
“Carson is like all of us right now, he’s disappointed. He’s frustrated,” Pederson said. “He’s been a professional through it all. He supports his teammates and that’s what you want to see from him, the leader of the team. I know sometimes the quarterback gets a lot of the blame like the head coach does. It’s the good with the bad. It’s not about Carson Wentz. It’s not about one person. We know we have issues on offense and it has been a struggle for us all season. That’s where the frustration lies a little bit, but he’s been a pro and would expect nothing less.”
Hurts was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2019 after completing 69.7% of his passes for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his senior season at Oklahoma. He added 1,323 yards from scrimmage and 21 touchdowns as a runner and receiver. He began his college career at Alabama in 2016 and was the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year that season.
The Eagles selected Hurts, 22, in the second round of this year’s draft. Wentz signed a four-year, $128m contract extension with the Eagles in July 2019.