After the Eagles defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 24-10 on Thursday night, head coach Doug Pederson headed to the podium in TIAA Bank Stadium to discuss the injury updates and quarterback situation. Cody Kessler started the game at quarterback, but he was evaluated and placed into concussion protocol after a blindside hit early in the first quarter.
“We’ll evaluate Cody tomorrow and again over the weekend, but we’re going to get through the next few days,” Pederson said. “Obviously, really excited for Clayton tonight. We’re just going to evaluate where we are and make a decision as we go.”
Clayton Thorson stepped in when Kessler went down and took advantage of the opportunity. The rookie quarterback threw for 175 yards on 16 of 26 passing. His performance was highlighted by a 38-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter to Greg Ward for the first score of the game. The game plan for Thorson was only playing the second half of the game, but he impressed Pederson when called into action.
“He really just calmed himself, learned from last week which is great to see,” Pederson said. “He steadied himself. I know the feeling coming off the bench like that, as a backup guy. He stepped in there and did a great job. Great job leading the team and managing the team. He made some big-time throws. It was encouraging to see him.”
The Eagles still have to face the fact that two of their backup quarterbacks are injured, for the moment. Nate Sudfeld is still recovering from his wrist surgery and now Kessler is in through concussion protocol. While this is not ideal, Pederson’s plan does not change when it comes to playing his starters.
“We’re going to get some great work with Baltimore coming into town this next week,” Pederson said. “The plan has always been to push the starters in practice. I really feel like practice is where you make it hard and challenging on our guys. Carson and the starters on offense have done a great job embracing that.”