The Philadelphia Eagles may not have any choice except to give quarterback Carson Wentz a few reps during the preseason after all.
Cody Kessler suffered a concussion during a 24-10 preseason victory at Jacksonville on Thursday night. A week earlier, Nate Sudfeld broke his left wrist. That leaves Wentz and rookie Clayton Thorson as the only healthy quarterbacks on the roster.
“We’ll evaluate Cody over the weekend,” coach Doug Pederson told NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com on Thursday. “We’re going to get through the next few days, evaluate where we are and make a decision as we go.”
The Eagles are scheduled to hold a light practice at the NovaCare Complex on Sunday, followed by two days of joint practices with the Baltimore Ravens leading up their preseason matchup Thursday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Ravens’ roster includes Absecon’s Joe Callahan, a Holy Spirit High School graduate who joined the team last month after an injury to quarterback Robert Griffin III. Callahan spent last preseason with the Eagles before getting released in early September.
Signing with Baltimore enabled him to reunite with Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Roman, also a Holy Spirit grad, served as the Spartans’ volunteer offensive coordinator in 2008, Callahan’s sophomore season.
“He was definitely trying to dumb down some NFL level stuff to a group of high school kids with a really young core,” Callahan told the Baltimore Sun this month. “He was a good coach, and I think really helped accelerate my learning process.”
Pederson had been hoping to keep Wentz on the sidelines until the regular-season opener against Washington on Sept. 8.
If Kessler isn’t out of the league’s concussion protocol next week, the Eagles can either have Wentz play a few series against the Ravens, use Thorson for the entire game or possible sign another quarterback.
“We can get by with the two guys,” Pederson said. “It does put a little more load on both of those guys. Until we can evaluate Cody further, we’re not ruling him out (against the Ravens).”
Kessler was hurt on the Eagles’ seventh play from scrimmage when Jaguars defensive end Datone Jones hammered him to the turf with a blindside hit.
Thorson, a fifth-round draft pick from Northwestern University, played the rest of the game and played well. He completed 16 of 26 passes for 175 yards with one touchdown and an interception. It was a major improvement from last week, when he went 2 for 9 for 7 yards against Tennessee.
“I just feel good about helping the team tonight and playing better football than I did last week,” Thorson told the team’s website Thursday. “No question, the game slowed down for me. I expect that to happen. It was a big difference from the Tennessee game. The offensive line was great and we ran the ball, and that helped a lot. I know I have to be patient with all of this. That’s part of how it works in the NFL.”
If the Eagles don’t want to sign another quarterback, they do have some options on their current roster.
Wide receiver Greg Ward Jr., who caught a 38-yard touchdown pass Thursday, was a quarterback for the University of Houston. Former Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller is also an Eagles wide receiver.
“We had Greg Ward on standby,” Pederson told NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com. “He was coached up and ready to go.”