Jalen Hurts has clearly won the backup job for the Eagles

Doug Pederson can say whatever he wants, but it’s clear Jalen Hurts will be the Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback.

An offseason with no on-field work, a short training camp and no preseason games puts NFL rookie behind the eight-ball this year.

The Philadelphia Eagles turned some heads when they took Jalen Hurts in the second round of April’s draft, but with Carson Wentz in place they don’t have to rush the rookie signal caller.

The Eagles could use Hurts at other positions besides quarterback, if only to get him on the field. He may not like that idea, but head coach Doug Pederson seems open to having Hurts on the field with Wentz.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Pederson also tried to make it clear what the quarterback pecking order is right now.

“Nate is our No. 2 and obviously Jalen is still learning. He’s done some really good things for us, he’s learning our system and he’s another one of our young players learning the game a little bit. He’s got some athleticism, we’ve seen that in practice, but Nate has come in and really done everything we’ve asked him to do from a backup position. Every position is being evaluated, but Nate right now is our No. 2.”

Jalen Hurts will be the Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback

Nate Sudfeld is entering his fourth year on the Eagles’ roster. He has 25 regular season pass attempts in mop-up duty.

As NBC Sports Philadelphia noted, the Eagles kept Josh McCown ahead of Sudfeld on the depth chart even after his preseason wrist injury healed last year. That doesn’t reek of a backup quarterback who is believed in. Hurts has also taken some second-team reps early in camp, which says it all.

Having three quarterbacks active for a game is something Pederson has done just nine times in four seasons as Eagles’ head coach. Hurts was going to force that hand this year regardless of any other circumstances, and there’s no doubt he is more talented than Sudfeld.

Pederson said every position is being evaluated, before being sure to say Sudfeld is the No. 2 quarterback for the second time in 75 words. But if there’s a fair evaluation, not based on flimsy merit or “experience in the system,” Hurts will officially be Wentz’s primary backup in short order.

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