When Carson Wentz runs out of the tunnel on Sunday, announced as the team's starting quarterback to fireworks and what should be a remarkable roar from the crowd, Nick Foles will have already taken the field for his first game in more than nine months as the backup.
Foles accomplished quite a lot in his time replacing Wentz. He won two crucial regular-season games to clinch home-field advantage in the playoffs. He led the team to three playoff wins, including an offensive onslaught in the NFC Championship Game, and was named Super Bowl MVP after outdueling Tom Brady.
Not bad for a "backup."
"I'd say the big thing is I went out there and gave it everything I had," Foles told reporters at his locker Thursday in his first time speaking to media since Wentz was named the starter. "I wanted to give everything to my team and my teammates to give us an opportunity to win the game. ... At the end of the day, we fought. And that's the big thing. The league is going to see what it wants to see, but I'm proud of my team."
Foles will now go back to the role he served in when he first signed with the team as a free agent in March 2017: the backup to Carson Wentz. He will lead the scout team during the week in practice, helping prepare the first-team defense, and will do what he can to make sure Wentz is ready.
It's not a glorious position, especially for someone who became the face of football in 2018. But Foles has never focused on himself. He said that whenever he feels any sort of pride or entitlement, he makes sure to remember that his focus is on the team.
"I think there's different ways to act in this situation, I'm just going to be who I am," Foles said. "I want to be a great teammate and there's going to be different feelings that you feel but at the end of the day, you're trying to help your team win.
"This is just a different role but it's a great role to be in, and I want to attack it and embrace it so that's something I choose to do. I choose to act that way."
Foles admitted there is an adjustment that takes place when transitioning from an everyday starter to someone helping others to prepare. The day-to-day change is the hardest part of this transition. But he said that in moments of difficulty, he realizes the team is what's most important.
In Foles' new role, he will have to make sure he's physically ready to go if anything happens to Wentz. He will also work with third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld to make sure Wentz is ready for the task ahead, something Wentz did for Foles while he was injured.
Foles said Wentz is ready to play on Sunday. But he understands there will be high emotions in his return. He and Sudfeld plan to be there for Wentz from a quarterback's perspective to help him with whatever he needs before and during the game.
"I'm excited for Carson," Foles said. "I'm excited to watch him go out and play. We have a special quarterback room here that supports him, so we'll go out and be out there supporting him when he's playing and when he's on the sideline, looking over photos, whatever he wants. All of us want to play, but at the same time, I'm going to embrace this role and find joy in it."
Foles will not have his name introduced in front of Eagles fans on Sunday as the starting quarterback. He will not be the one fans watch on TV making plays to win games. But he will still be an integral part of this team's quest to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. He said the support he's received from fans both as the starter and as he transitions to being the backup once again has been incredible.
"This city has meant a lot to me and my family as well," Foles said. "And we'll never forget that, no matter what happens. But absolutely, the support has been tremendous. The support here within the NovaCare (Complex) has always been tremendous and it's always about the team. But that's something that's special about Philly."