When an NFL locker room remains mum following the benching of a longtime starting quarterback, it suggests players were at odds with the incumbent and ready for a switch.
So, recently demoted Eagles passer Carson Wentz can take solace in the noise teammates have raised in response to Jalen Hurts taking his job. Veterans have questioned coach Doug Peterson’s decision to replace Wentz in the second half of a loss to the Packers and subsequently name Hurts the first-choice signal-caller moving forward. They have offered enduring love for their Raleigh-born brother.
Fletcher Cox, a team captain, liked a tweet on Tuesday to show he wants Wentz to start. On Wednesday, he affirmed his support for Wentz while assuring fans he still thinks highly of Hurts. He said failure “never just comes down to one guy,” indicating Wentz has received too much blame for Philadelphia’s 3-8-1 record.
“My tweet is my tweet and I stand with it,” Cox told reporters.
Jason Kelce, another Eagles leader, also expressed support for Wentz. Like Cox, he feels the benching scapegoated Wentz for problems that exist across Philadelphia’s offense.
“This comes down to more of a failure of every position, including coaches, to facilitate a functioning offense,” Kelce said. ”That’s the biggest story here, not that Jalen Hurts is picked and there was some sort of internal battle and struggle going on with Carson Wentz. I don’t buy that.”
Wentz has started 68 games for the Eagles since he was drafted No. 2 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. He would have been in the MVP discussion in 2017 if he hadn’t been injured late in the campaign. Nick Foles led the team to a Super Bowl victory following that setback, but Wentz’s role in spearheading an 11-2 start to the regular season was not forgotten by teammates.
Hurts, a rookie, is more mobile and perhaps better equipped to survive playing behind a flimsy offensive line. But he’s also unproven and being put in a tough spot.
Wentz was removed from his post having thrown 15 interceptions in 12 contests. He will be a trade candidate following the season, though his contract may deter potential suitors.