The highly anticipated Carson Wentz vs. Nick Foles preseason matchup is set to be a dud at the box office. Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone revealed Tuesday that Foles is unlikely to play against the Philadelphia Eagles, the team he led to their first Super Bowl title and won MVP honors in a postseason performance for the ages.
Not only is Foles unlikely to play, but the Jaguars' first-team offense is unlikely to take the field as well.
"I [thought] this is good for our players and I think that I will take a good look at it after the day and probably not play some of the players [on Thursday]," Marrone said to Jaguars media members Tuesday. "We will play [our starters] the third preseason game and the reason why, just so I'm clear on that, is because in the third preseason game, this is exactly what we do. We're going to do the exact schedule that we do during the year.
"I try to be as transparent as I can without giving away secrets. That's where we are. If the third preseason game comes and someone doesn't play, it's probably on the verge of just being cautious. I'd like to get all of the offensive linemen back before I put Nick [Foles] back there."
Foles did not play the Jaguars first preseason game, but the quarterback is 100 percent healthy. Thursday will be a reunion for Foles, who completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 58 touchdowns, 23 interceptions and a 93.2 passer rating (21-11 record). He completed 68.1 percent of his passes for 1,133 yards, 11 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 98.8 passer rating in the postseason, winning Super Bowl MVP honors.
"It'll mean a lot to see those guys pregame and catch up with a lot of those guys," Foles said. "They're family to me, always will be. So, it'll be good to see a lot of their faces and talk to them, see how they're doing. I know they're grinding through camp as well, so it'll be good to catch up with a lot of them."
Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz is also unlikely to play Thursday, ending the potential Wentz-Foles matchup that was the highlight for Week 2 of the NFL's preseason slate. Once Wentz went down with a torn ACL in the 2017 season, Foles was called upon to lead the Eagles after the franchise quarterback led the team to a 10-2 start. In the last three games of the regular season, Foles completed 56.4 percent of his passes for 537 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 79.5 passer rating, leading the Eagles to a 2-0 record in games he started and finished.
Then came the postseason for the ages.
Foles completed 72.6 percent of his passes for 971 yards, six touchdowns, one interception, and a 115.7 passer rating in the postseason. In the Super Bowl, Foles took home MVP honors after going 28-of-43 for 373 yards, three touchdowns, and a 106.1 passer rating (also catching a touchdown pass from the "Philly Special.")
With the Eagles having joint practices with the Baltimore Ravens next week, head coach Doug Pederson doesn't feel the need to play Wentz this week. Pederson hasn't made the decision yet, but is leaning that way.
"He's done some great things out here, obviously," Pederson said. "I try to make the way the practices are set up in training camp as hard as they can be in camp and not just for him, but for everybody and we've seen a lot of good things. He's progressing and getting better every single day. The timing and rhythm with his receivers is getting better and it's still kind of up to me to play anybody the rest of the way, but getting a lot of great work in in these practices."
Eagles fans may have to wait for a Wentz vs. Foles matchup when Jacksonville visits Philadelphia in 2022.