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#pounditThursday, February 25, 2021

Jason Kelce defends Doug Pederson’s decision to play Nate Sudfeld

Doug Pederson

Some Philadelphia Eagles players may have been unhappy with the way Doug Pederson handled the end of Sunday’s game, but one of the team’s most respected veterans is standing by the head coach.

Eagles center Jason Kelce issued a lengthy statement on Instagram Wednesday addressing Sunday’s loss to Washington. He said Pederson informed players both before and during the game that third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld was going to see playing time. Kelce, who has been with the Eagles for nearly a decade, said things did not turn “confrontational” at any point.

“We all knew leading into the game that Sudfeld was told to be ready to play, and that Doug wanted to see what he could do in a game situation,” Kelce wrote. “All of us during the week leading up were excited for Nate, a guy that has been with us for 4 years to get an opportunity in a real game to show the world what he can do. We all have complete confidence in Nate as a player, there’s a reason he’s been here this long, and a reason the team brought him back.

“I understand the optics of how it looked, and I’d be lying if 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.”

By losing to Washington, the Eagles improved their draft position from No. 9 to No. 6. Most people are convinced that is why they pulled Jalen Hurts in favor of Sudfeld and stuck with Sudfeld even after he played poorly. However, the decision may not have been as sudden as it has been portrayed.

While some reports claimed the potential for Sudfeld to play was never communicated to the team, Kelce and other players have said they knew it was a possibility. There was even a report on the Eagles official website prior to the game that Sudfeld could play in the second half.

It sounds like there could be a bit of a locker room divide with the Eagles. Kelce defended Pederson, while another star player basically ripped ripped the coach publicly.

You can read Kelce’s entire statement below:

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