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Doug Pederson: 'To The Fans Out There, You Can't Lose Faith'


Despite the displeasing news of quarterback Carson Wentz's season-ending ACL injury, head coach Doug Pederson had a message for Eagles fans.

"To the fans out there, you can't lose faith. This has been a resilient football team all season long. If there's ever an opportunity for me as a head football coach to rally the troops, now might be the time," Pederson said during Monday's press conference.

"We just came off a terrific victory to win the NFC East, guys are riding extremely high. It's a little bittersweet but you know what. We've got the Giants this week. We've got an opportunity where if you win Sunday you get a first-round bye so there's still a lot to play for. That's what's exciting to play for, for the rest of this season. You're still playing for that opportunity to hopefully be in that game."

The Eagles have overcome major injuries all season. Kicker Caleb Sturgis was injured in the season-opener against the Redskins. Running back Darren Sproles went down Week 3 against the Giants. Safety and team captain Chris Maragos was placed on Injured Reserve after Week 6 against the Panthers. Both left tackle Jason Peters and linebacker Jordan Hicks had their seasons cut short after a win in Week 7 against Washington.

With those injuries in mind, the Eagles are 11-2 with the best record in the NFC having clinched a playoff spot and the NFC East title for the first time since 2013.

While the Eagles' depth at quarterback has yet to be tested for an extended time since Wentz was drafted, Nick Foles led Philadelphia to a pivotal comeback win over the Rams. He finished the game 6-of-10 with a crucial third-down conversion that allowed the Eagles to run off most of the game clock. With Foles now in the mix, Pederson expressed that not much will change in terms of the offensive playbook.

"Nick has played a ton of football. I was here when we drafted him and we drafted him for a reason. And then we went out and got him again for a reason," Pederson said. "You never want it to be under these circumstances. At the same time, my confidence is extremely high in Nick."

The Eagles have three remaining games on their schedule with the final two coming at home. The team has the opportunity to win home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

"I'm going to lead this football team. It falls more on my shoulders than these players so that's why they need to stay encouraged, that's why they need to stay excited about this opportunity that we have in front of us," Pederson said.

"I think even the guys felt it after the game yesterday that we just rally. We support the next guy and from my standpoint it's you don't waver. You don't let people see you sweat. You just put your head down and you just go to work. You get everybody ready to play. It was evident yesterday. Carson was out of the game, you saw Nick come in and come back and lead us to victory in that game so that right there is a great step in the right direction."

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