The Philadelphia Eagles will not be penalized by the NFL for their quarterback decisions in the Week 17 finale against the Washington Football Team, per Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press. Doug Pederson pulled Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter with Washington holding a three-point lead, a game the New York Giants needed Philadelphia to win in order to capture the NFC East title. Washington ended up winning 20-14 and clinching the division championship.
While the Giants were upset with Pederson and the Eagles over the decision, Pederson defended the call by saying he wanted to get Sudfeld in the game — a contest that was meaningless for the eliminated Eagles. A win over Washington would have netted Philadelphia the No. 9 pick in the draft, while a loss sealed the No. 6 selection — an improvement of three spots. Pederson told Hurts and Sudfeld both would be getting into the game in the week leading up to the Week 17 matchup, which was flexed to “Sunday Night Football” on the national stage.
Pederson was fired by the Eagles this week, but the Week 17 quarterback decision didn’t play a factor in his ouster.
“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.”
Giants head coach Joe Judge was upset over the decision by the Eagles, a call he felt cost his 6-10 team a shot at the playoffs.
“There’s a number of sacrifices made by players and coaches in this league. There’s a number of sacrifices that come along with the family members connected with them,” Judge said last week. “To disrespect the effort that everybody put forward to make this season a success for the National Football League, to disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and not doing anything to help those players win. We will never do that as long as I am the head coach of the New York Giants.”