By Peter Gleason
In what had to be the easiest decision of this brain-warping season, Eagles coach Doug Pederson has picked Jalen Hurts as his new starting quarterback, starting Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter are reporting.
The demoted Carson Wentz will back up Hurts.
Hurts came off the bench in the Eagles’ 30-16 loss to the Packers Sunday and outperformed Wentz. Hurts finished 5-of-12 for 109 yards with a touchdown and an interception while rushing five times for 29 yards. Wentz ended 6-of-15 for 79 yards and was sacked four times.
Wentz, 27, has been mired in the worst season of his career, entering Sunday’s game ranked first in interceptions (15) and sacks (46), 31st in completion percentage (58.1%) and 30th in yards per attempt (6.02).
Hurts played 33 snaps over the first 11 games, lining up all over the formation while being used mostly as a gadget player. With increasing calls for Hurts to take more snaps in recent weeks, Pederson has maintained that Wentz is the Eagles’ starter.
Hurts racked up 52 touchdowns for Oklahoma last season — 32 passing and 20 rushing — while finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting behind Joe Burrow. The Eagles surprised many by selecting Hurts 53rd overall in April’s NFL draft despite giving Wentz a four-year, $128 million extension in the summer of 2019.