The Eagles’ controversial decision to bench Jalen Hurts in the team’s final game against the Washington Football Team left a bad taste in nearly everyone’s mouth.
Except the Washington Football Team, that is. Postgame audio caught by NFL mics shows Washington defensive end Montez Sweat joking with Hurts.
“I don’t know what would’ve happened if you would’ve stayed in there, man.”
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Hurts completed just 7 of 20 passes for 72 yards and an interception, but also ran eight times for 34 yards and two touchdowns. His backup Nate Sudfeld — who came on at the start of the fourth quarter with Philadelphia down just three points — was not as impressive. He completed 5 of 12 passes for 32 yards and two turnovers in the 20-14 loss.
Many who follow the NFL feel Doug Pederson’s decision to bench Hurts was less than sporting; the move not only eliminated the Giants from winning the NFC East — giving Washington that title — but also gave Philadelphia a better draft pick (No. 6 overall).
That includes Eagles running back Miles Sanders, who said after the game that “nobody liked the decision, nobody.” Philadelphia center Jason Kelce tried to shed light on the situation in a lengthy Wednesday Instagram post, saying Sudfeld was told ahead of time to be ready to play if need be.
“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,” Kelce wrote. “It was a difficult situation to be put into, especially when you have a 10-year veteran center who doesn’t snap the ball to you accurately on your second drive of the game.”
That’s in the past, now. Perhaps in time, it’s something Philadelphia can laugh about. For now, the only one laughing is Sweat.