Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson said he is sticking with quarterback Carson Wentz as his starter for next Monday night's game against the Seattle Seahawks despite Wentz's continuing struggles.
"If you get to that spot where you don't start him or you bench him, I think you're sending the wrong message to your football team that this season is over, and that's a bad message," Pederson said following the Eagles' 22-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, which dropped the Eagles to 3-6-1. "We have to work through this. When times get tough, sometimes that might be the easy thing to do.
"This sport is bigger than one guy. We all have a hand in it and we all have to fix it," he said.
Wentz finished 21-of-35 for 235 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, including a pick six. He was sacked five times -- once in the end zone for a safety -- and absorbed 10 QB hits.
Pederson said he did not consider benching Wentz on Sunday for Jalen Hurts, the team's second-round pick this past April, noting how close the Eagles were from making it a competitive game. Hurts has been sprinkled into the offense this season, primarily as a runner and decoy, with varying success. Cries have grown louder in Philadelphia for Hurts to have a chance at running the offense, given Wentz's ineffectiveness.
Wentz entered Week 11 ranked 32nd in completion percentage (58.2), 31st in yards per attempt (6.1) and first in interceptions (12) and sacks (35). The Eagles matched a season low in points with 17 in back-to-back weeks.
"The media, you guys can ask whatever questions you want. I know that's part of the deal. I know it's always a scrutinized position, playing quarterback, and that's what I signed up for when I came out and played quarterback going back to high school. I can take it," Wentz said on questions about him being benched. "I can wear it. Are we playing as good as we can as a team? No. Am I playing my best football? No. There were some circumstances out there today that we left some plays out there on the field. We'll be critical, we'll go back and watch the tape.
"You guys can ask whatever questions you want, bring up whatever you want and for me, I'm just going to put my head down and go to work."