Eagles running back Miles Sanders on Tuesday spoke out publicly against the Eagles’ decision to sit quarterback Jalen Hurts in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s regular season finale.
While Doug Pederson has maintained that he was coaching the win the game, that decision to put Nate Sudfeld in the game has come under great scrutiny in the hours and days since.
On WIP Tuesday, Sanders was asked how he felt about the decision. After a lengthy pause, Sanders gave his answer:
"Man, if I'm being honest, if I’m being honest, nobody liked the decision, nobody," Sanders said. "That's all I can say, really. I don't know … who was the main person behind that decision. But all I know is that a lot of people on the team was confused."
Aside from the claim that nobody liked the decision, it’s interesting that Sanders questions who actually made the decision. Pederson claims he acted alone, but many think that’s not the case.
This statement from Sanders comes the day after a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said many coaches and players were “shocked” by the decision and two defensive players even had to be held back from approaching Pederson about it.
It’s important to note that Sanders did not play in the Week 17 game. Sanders was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice last week, then he was limited on Thursday and didn’t participate on Friday. He was one of nine players the Eagles ruled out of the game at the end of the practice week.
On Tuesday, Sanders said he was injured enough that he wasn’t able to play. But it’s fair to question if he and other injured players would have played if this game had playoff implications for the Eagles.
"Oh man, it was definitely hard to watch just because I wanted to be out there," Sanders said to WIP. "With everything going on, I didn't want to be one of the guys that was just out, you know. I know everybody has, some people, have legit reasons of being out for the game, but I didn't want to be out for any reason just because it was the last game of the season and how everything went. I just wanted to go out there and ball out for my teammates for the last time this season, despite how everything went.
“But I physically couldn't go and that was definitely hard for me. Not even going to bring up 1,000 yards, but I really just wanted to go out there and finish off the season with my team.”
The Eagles on Sunday ended up losing 20-14 and got the No. 6 pick in the draft. Had they won the game, they would have had the No. 9 pick.
And had they won, the Giants would have made the playoffs. Giants head coach Joe Judge on Monday ripped the Eagles for not respecting the game and said he would never let that happen as a head coach of the Giants.
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