The Philadelphia Eagles will face no punishment for making sure the Washington Football Team made the playoffs — and that the New York Giants didn’t.
According to Rob Maadi of The Associated Press, the Eagles will not be penalized for pulling quarterback Jalen Hurts in favor of backup Nate Sudfeld during a close Week 17 game against Washington. The outcome was still in the balance when Hurts was pulled in favor of Sudfeld, and Washington needed to win to make the playoffs. Had Washington lost, the Giants would have been in.
The decision to pull Hurts came from Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who got canned on Monday. Pederson’s decision drew serious ire from the Giants, including head coach Joe Judge.
Pederson defended the move by saying he merely wanted to get Sudfeld an opportunity in a game that meant nothing to the Eagles.
“Doug had said we were going to use as many young players as we could,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a video teleconference Monday. “I think Doug just wanted to give Nate a chance. He deserved it. He’s been part of our Super Bowl-winning team. He contributed to the scout team. He contributed so much. I think it was just with good intentions. The circumstances weren’t the best, maybe the communication wasn’t the best, but we would have loved to have eliminated Washington.”
Of course, it probably didn’t hurt that a loss to Washington moved the Eagles three spots higher in the draft — from ninth overall to sixth. But it is what it is, says the NFL.