Nick Foles' season may be over, but that doesn't mean he's packing up his locker and making offseason plans. In fact, it's just the opposite.
Foles suffered a hairline fracture in his throwing hand in the first half of last Sunday's game. While he finished the game, the injury will keep him out of the season finale and landed the rookie quarterback on injured reserve Wednesday. It's a tough way to end the season, but as always, Foles remained upbeat.
"It's really disappointing," he said Wednesday. "Not being able to go out and compete with the guys, it is disappointing. But sometimes this happens when you play sports. But the hand will heal up and will be better than ever when it heals."
Foles' injury ends a season that was, in many ways, all about exceeding expectations. Many observers assumed he would be a developmental prospect; a player who needed time on the bench to learn the pro game. But throughout the offseason, and especially during the preseason, Foles showed that was simply not the case.
After a sparkling preseason, Foles got his chance to run the show for real when starter Michael Vick went down with a concussion in Week 10. Since entering the lineup, Foles put up 1,699 passing yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions. He also ran for 42 yards and a touchdown. His biggest game came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when he threw for 381 yards and combined for three total touchdowns. The biggest, of course, was a game-winning pass to Jeremy Maclin as time expired. Foles isn't one for hyperbole, so when asked to evaluate his season, the rookie was measured in his response.
"There's some good things; there are some bad things," he said. "There is a lot I need to work on. I look at it as there's a ton of room for improvement. I just have to write down; study what I need to improve on and work on it. That's what you work on in the offseason. Just fine-tune your skills and keep improving."
The list of improvements and that kind of studying will happen in the offseason. Until then, it's business as usual. He's going through the week and preparing for the Giants. True, he's not playing, but Foles still plans on being a visible presence around the NovaCare Complex this week.
"We have a game this week against the Giants, so that's all I'm focused on right now," he said. "When the offseason's here, I always get away from the game for a little bit and reflect on everything that's happened; really think about it and let it all soak in. But right now I'm focused on the Giants and that's all I'm focused on."
Foles will enter the offseason facing some uncertainty. Will he return as the Eagles' starter? Will he be asked to win the job in Training Camp? He doesn't have the answers to these questions, and may not for some time. But that isn't to say he's thinking about it. There is still a game to be played this Sunday, and Foles will spend this week the same way he's spent the previous 16 – studying film, spending time with his teammates and working to get better.
"What I can do is keep working," he said. "I can look at what I've done and I can improve on what I've done and compete. Right now, I'm thinking about this week against the Giants and what I can do to help the guys in any way possible. Studying the film, looking at the film, helping anybody, being at practice watching, that's what I'm focused on. I'm not focused on anything else. That's it, that's where my mindset is now."
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