Josh McCown has traversed many terrains during his 17 NFL seasons. However, in his 18th, he will travel somewhere no one his age has ever been before – the practice squad.
At 41 years and 65 days old, McCown is the oldest practice squad player in NFL history. He earned that distinction thanks to the COVID-19 roster protocols that are in place for the 2020 regular season, which will allow teams to have up to six veteran players on the now 16-player squad.
Although he is technically returning for yet another season, he is very much the emergency option for the Eagles. So much so that he is staying at his home in Rusk, Texas during the season, more than 1,4000 miles from any potential outbreak at the NovaCare Complex that would be the catalyst for his promotion to the active roster.
McCown's extensive résumé, which covers nine teams across three decades, along with his familiarity with the team and its system, made him an ideal candidate for such a unique position in Pederson's eyes.
"He's played on this team. He knows our team. He knows our system, that we can keep on practice squad and keep him plugged in, and we're going to continue to work out the details of his week here in the next few days," Pederson told reporters Monday.
Part of those details will be how McCown engages with the team and the gameplanning virtually. Starting quarterback Carson Wentz expressed his excitement in having McCown back for another season.
"Having Josh around last year was huge for me, but really for this entire building," Wentz recalled while speaking to reporters Monday. "He provided a lot of insight, a lot of energy. He was kind of a mentor to a lot of guys. He's twice the age of some guys in this building. I always give him a little crap for that."
"I'm pretty proud of him setting another record this year for being the oldest practice squad player. He's always setting new records," Wentz joked.
All kidding aside, McCown's role is an important one. Because of the unpredictable nature of this pandemic, the Eagles seemingly have an option that could be expeditiously plugged in and ready to go in case something were to go terribly wrong. Other teams may not.
Hopefully, that situation never arises, but the Eagles are prepared for it just in case.