Some Philadelphia Eagles fans apparently got a couple of jersey numbers mixed up during Thursday’s preseason game.
Maybe it’s leftover brain freeze from drinking all those Slurpees at 7-Eleven before there was a Wawa on every corner, but they failed to realize that Nate Sudfeld (No. 7) was the quarterback who broke his left wrist against Tennessee, not Carson Wentz (No. 11).
While it stinks to lose Sudfeld for the first four to six games of the regular season, it won’t matter as long as Wentz is able to stay healthy.
Of course, that’s no guarantee, considering the injury bug has bitten him the last few years like the greenhead flies that had lunch on my ankles during a recent SUP session in Spicers Creek.
To that end, there is absolutely no reason for Wentz to play during the preseason. Encase him in Bubble Wrap and don’t take it off until the first regular-season game against Washington on Sept. 8.
“We still have a plan with not just (Wentz), but with all our guys and all of our starters,” coach Doug Pederson said Thursday. “I have to evaluate these guys in the next couple of weeks and see if they need to play in some of these (preseason games) and make decisions that way.”
Maybe some of the starters need to play a series or two at Jacksonville this Thursday and possibly against Baltimore the following week. Let the offensive line get a few snaps except for 65-year-old left tackle Jason Peters, who can use the rest. That would also give rookie Andre Dillard, Peters’ heir apparent, a chance to work with the first unit.
There’s no need to have tight end Zach Ertz or Nelson Agholor, DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery out there. Same goes for running back Darren Sproles and key defensive players such as defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and safety Malcolm Jenkins.
But especially Wentz.
Yes, he does have to develop chemistry with some new members of his supporting cast, such as Jackson and running backs Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders. But that’s why you have training camp. Wentz already has developed a rapport with Jackson, who gives the Eagles their first legitimate deep threat since, well, Jackson.
There’s nothing to be gained by having them out there for a meaningless preseason game.
“The preseason is helpful, but I don’t think it’s a necessity,” Wentz said last week. “It’s definitely never needed.”
Keeping him out would also enable Cody Kessler and rookie Clayton Thorson to get more time to prove they are capable of being Wentz’s backup until Sudfeld is able to return.
And just to get it out of the way, there’s a better chance of me getting a table at Chef Vola’s on Labor Day weekend than Colin Kaepernick joining the Eagles.
There are several reasons why it wouldn’t work, the biggest being Kaepernick has made it clear he wants to be a starter and wants a big contract. That’s not happening in Philly, where Wentz signed a $128 million extension in June through the 2024 season.
If he gets hurt again this year, it won’t matter if Sudfeld, Kessler, Thorson, Kaepernick or Pederson, who jokingly suggested he could come out of retirement if needed, takes over.
The Eagles would be in so much trouble, fans would need something stronger than a 7-11 Big Gulp to cope with the disappointment.
David Weinberg’s Extra Points column appears Wednesdays and Sundays in The Press.