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Eagles' Doug Pederson to start Jalen Hurts at QB over Carson Wentz

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (R) has endured one of the worst seasons of his NFL career this year, ranking first in interceptions thrown (15) and sacks taken (50). File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (R) has endured one of the worst seasons of his NFL career this year, ranking first in interceptions thrown (15) and sacks taken (50). File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson on Tuesday named rookie Jalen Hurts his starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.

Carson Wentz, who has served as the Eagles' franchise quarterback since the team drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, will be the backup to Hurts.

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"We're not where we want to be as an offense," Pederson told the team's official website Tuesday. "I looked at the whole thing and decided that for this week to look for that spark again to try to get the team over the hump, to try to get everybody playing better."

Hurts came off the bench in the Eagles' 30-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday and outperformed the struggling Wentz. Hurts was 5 of 12 for 109 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while adding five carries for 29 yards. Wentz finished 6 of 15 for 79 yards and was sacked four times.

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"Carson is like all of us right now, he's disappointed. He's frustrated," Pederson said. "He's been a professional through it all. He supports his teammates and that's what you want to see from him, the leader of the team. I know sometimes the quarterback gets a lot of the blame like the head coach does.

"It's the good with the bad. It's not about Carson Wentz. It's not about one person. We know we have issues on offense and it has been a struggle for us all season. That's where the frustration lies a little bit, but he's been a pro and would expect nothing less."

The 27-year-old Wentz has endured one of the worst seasons of his NFL career this year. Entering Sunday's game against the Saints, he ranks first in interceptions thrown (15) and sacks taken (50).

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Hurts played 33 snaps over the Eagles' first 11 games this season, primarily as a gadget player in Pederson's offensive scheme.

The Eagles (3-8-1) have lost four consecutive games. Philadelphia sits in third place in the NFC East with four regular-season games remaining.

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