1. Nick Foles 'Optimistic' After Injury Scare
Nick Foles left Thursday's game early with a shoulder strain after being sacked by Patriots defensive end Adrian Clayborn. After being evaluated in the medical tent immediately after the play, Foles returned to the sideline for the remainder of the game and did not have to go into the locker room for further treatment.
Foles appears to have escaped any serious injury, saying after the game that he is "optimistic" about his shoulder. Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro has more on the critical health of the Eagles' quarterback:
"When you're following on through on a deep ball and somebody grabs your arm when you're going, it's not the best feeling," Foles said. "But I feel optimistic about it and I'm excited to get into treatment tomorrow and just get this thing moving forward."
Take a look at all the photos from the Eagles' second preseason game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
2. Foles' Performance Leads Spadaro's Observations
Reporting from Foxborough, Spadaro recorded 13 notes about Thursday's game leading off with Nick Foles' tough preseason debut:
Nick Foles completed just 3 of 9 passes before leaving the game with a shoulder strain. He wasn't sharp and he wasn't helped by some poor play up front.
"We have to execute better. I have to execute better from the quarterback position," Foles said. "We as a team have to execute better. But that's where – I know all of us will look at the film, we'll get back on the practice field and we'll continue to improve. That's the great thing about this sport is it's not always going to be perfect. It's the toughest part about this sport. You want to go out there, you want to play a clean game, you want to win the game, you want to put a lot of points up. But that's where you really have to dig deep right now and just – we're in preseason, we're in Training Camp, we have to continue to grow as a team."
Foles missed receivers, including running back Wendell Smallwood on the team's first offensive possession when Smallwood ran a wheel route down the left sideline and had a step on the defense. There was just no rhythm for Foles or the offense most of the night.
3. Nate Sudfeld Impresses
While Foles struggled, Sudfeld played nearly three quarters on Thursday and was very effective, completing 22-of-39 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns. His one interception came off a drop by running back Matt Jones. Spadaro has more on Sudfeld's night:
"I feel very comfortable. I feel like the game has slowed down. The two times I've played this season, the game I played last season (against Dallas in the regular-season finale) I felt like I knew what I was looking at with the exception of a few plays here and there," Sudfeld said. "I didn't feel there was a down tonight where I was confused by the coverage. I felt I had decent eye discipline, just kind of keying my safeties and leverages and stuff so for the most part I'm pretty happy with that."
4. Shelton Gibson Stands Out Again
In a bleak offensive night for the Eagles, wide receiver Shelton Gibson stood out for the second week in a row, catching his second touchdown of the preseason and finishing with five receptions for 90 yards. A 57-yard catch that took the Eagles from their own 1-yard line to Patriots' territory highlighted his day.
Gibson's performance has been crucial as he competes for the fifth wide receiver spot on the Eagles roster. Spadaro has more on what the Eagles have in the second-year receiver:
Clearly, Gibson is a totally different player than he was in 2017 as a fifth-round draft pick who was inconsistent catching the football.
"I've put a lot of work in," Gibson said. "My goal is to just get better every day, keep putting good days back to back. I feel like I'm doing that, but I know I have a lot more to do."
5. Players Of The Game
Vaughn Johnson wrote about five standout players from Thursday's game including cornerback Ronald Darby who excelled in coverage against passes from Tom Brady:
Darby's performance doesn't stand out by looking at the box score, but he broke up two passes down the field and was exceptional in man coverage. Eagles fans should be excited to potentially get a full season out of the fourth-year corner.