PHILADELPHIA — When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a season-ending ACL injury in Week 3, Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles’ name promptly reached the rumor mill as a potential trade target.
Behind Foles, the Eagles have another talented quarterback in Nate Sudfeld, the 24-year-old who is well-regarded around NFL circles.
Every time a quarterback goes down — like Garoppolo — Sudfeld hears about it. He tries not to pay attention.
Sudfeld isn’t anxious to receive a promotion or be part of a trade but he has “friends hit me up and stuff,” he said, even if he tries to ignore that noise.
“It’s so cliche but all that stuff is out of my control,” Sudfeld said on Tuesday. “You never want to see anyone go down but you know things can happen and I’m not in charge of my future — per se — so I definitely hope [Garoppolo] recovers well and I’m just ready to go here and whatever the team needs from me that’s my job right now.”
Sudfeld’s current job is to help prepare franchise quarterback Carson Wentz — and Foles — for the week ahead. When Wentz returned from December ACL and LCL surgeries in Week 3, Sudfeld was relegated to an inactive status for the first time, and that will likely continue going forward.
While he is stuck on the sideline, Sudfeld said he feels like he will be ready if called upon. Sudfeld played throughout most of the Eagles’ Week 17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys last season. He completed 19-of-23 passes for 134 passing yards, offering up a glimpse of his upside. Sudfeld believes his work from last season has prepared him for a potentially bigger role down the road.
Sudfeld served as Foles’ backup during the Eagles’ run to the Super Bowl. After Wentz suffered his season-ending knee injury, Sudfeld was able to practice with the scout team and experience the preparation process of being a backup quarterback. He carried on that role for the first two weeks of this season, making him even more prepared for another shot at being active on game days.
“I feel like I was on my toes last year even before Carson went down,” Sudfeld said. “I think that helped me and was why they trusted me to keep it going without having any film. But yeah, I think I feel more fresh now because I was active the first two games, I’ve seen a lot of football and I’ve been in our system and know our stuff.”
Sudfeld has a voice in the Eagles’ quarterbacks room, despite Wentz’s return, as the three Eagles quarterbacks consistently collaborate throughout the week. Even though Sudfeld is back to being a third-string quarterback, he is still happy his friend, Wentz, is back in the lineup.
“We’re really excited for [Wentz] because I’ve seen every day how hard that guy worked to get back,” Sudfeld said. “But overall, the dynamic hasn’t changed much [in the room]. It’s always been — we all three have voices in the room, they’ve been good about it not being all one man [running the room]. Obviously, when Carson is healthy, he’s got the remote in his hands, running the tape. When Nick was the guy, he was running the remote.
“We all have ideas, we all talk it through and we all support each other, so it’s been a really healthy environment.”