Following coach Doug Pederson’s controversial decision to bench quarterback Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia’s season finale against the Washington Football Team, there were many reports of Eagles players upset about the decision and having to be held back from him.
Eagles center Jason Kelce shed some light on the incident when he took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to explain what happened on the Eagles’ sideline after Pederson decided to replace Hurts with backup Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter.
“At the end of the third quarter, I was told on the bench that Sudfeld was going in the game. I went up to Doug and asked him if he was taking hurts out, he said, ‘yes, I think Nate’s earned the right to play,’ I said, ‘everyone else is staying in?,’ he said ‘absolutely.’ I then went to find Suddy. Started taking snaps on the sideline with him [sic],” Kelce wrote on Instagram.
“At no point was anything from me or anyone else confrontational. We all knew leading into the game that Sudfield was told to be ready to play, and that Doug wanted to see what he could do in a game situation. …I understand the optics of how it looked, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little surprised given the circumstances that the move happened when it did, but every one of us did our best, and all of us believe we can win with Nate Sudfeld.”
Philadelphia trailed just 17–14 before Hurts’ benching, but Pederson made questionable decisions when he elected to go for a 4th-and-goal play instead of tying the game, and then, of course, benching his starter.
Pederson appeared to throw in the towel, playing Sudfeld throughout the fourth quarter as Washington seized a 20–14 win.
Philadelphia finished 2020 last in the NFC East at 4–11–1.