Imagine the Eagles without Nick Foles as their backup quarterback.
Obviously starter Carson Wentz was a huge part of Philadelphia’s success, leading the team to a 10-2 record before tearing his ACL and LCL during a Week 14 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
But without Foles stepping up in the wake of Wentz’s season-ending injury, the Eagles probably wouldn’t be playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday. The six-year veteran has led Philadelphia to four wins in his five starts, including two playoff victories.
Luckily for Eagles fans, Foles did not step away from the game of football like he thought he was going to.
“A lot of people don’t know this — I’m going to share this right now, because I think it’s important. After my time with a certain NFL team [apparently the Rams], I wanted to retire,” Foles said on the YouTube channel for YouVersion, a Bible app.
“This was a year ago. I wanted to retire from the NFL, and I really struggled,” he said. “I couldn’t pick up a football for about eight months. I had no love for the game, and it was tough.
Now Foles is gearing up for the biggest game of his career, Super Bowl LII against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. But that hasn’t stopped him from talking about his faith, as he outlined to reporters his plans for after football.
“I want to be a pastor in a high school,” Foles said Thursday. “It’s on my heart. I took a leap of faith last year and signed up to take classes at seminary. I wanted to continue to learn and challenge my faith. It’s a challenge because you are writing papers that are biblically correct. You want to impact people’s hearts.”
Foles, who was drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft by the Eagles, left Philadelphia in 2015, then bounced around to the Rams and Chiefs before finding his way back to the Eagles in 2017.
The University of Arizona alumnus finds himself on a roster full of outspoken believers in Carson Wentz, Stefen Wisniewski, Trey Burton and many others.
The Eagles’ brotherhood of believers spend their downtime in prayer, reading the Bible and sharing in devotionals.
Wisniewski, the team’s left guard, said he shares in Foles’ dream as he too wants to become a pastor following his NFL career.
“Guys like Nick and Wis can spit out scripture all day and it’s awesome to take in that knowledge,” said special teams ace Kamu Grugier-Hill.
Foles said his true passion is helping young people discover their path.
“When I speak to [students], that’s such a time of young men and young women’s lives that there’s a lot of things that are thrown at them,” he said. “So much temptation in this world, so much going on with social media and the internet that you want to talk to them and address it and share all the weaknesses I have, because I’ve fallen many times.
“It’s something I want to do. I can’t play football forever. I’ve been blessed with an amazing platform and it’s just a door God has opened, but I still have a lot of school left and a long journey.”
But if it wasn’t for his faith, Foles believes he wouldn’t be playing football anymore.
He says prayer is what helped him decide to remain in the NFL after he asked the Rams to release him following the 2016 season.
“It took a lot more faith to come back and play than it would’ve to go in the other direction,” Foles said. “Either way would’ve been fine. Either way, I would’ve trusted in God. I would’ve done something else and glorified God in that instance.
“The reason I decided to come back is I’ve loved the game of football since I was a kid, I loved playing sports, I loved being part of a team, and I knew as a person that the more growth I’ve had and the more opportunity I would have to glorify God and trust in him would be to go back and play football.”
Eagles fan sure are glad that Foles came back and signed with the team, as the backup quarterback possesses the highest career passer rating (116.4) in postseason history for quarterbacks who’ve thrown at least 75 passes.
That’s right, Foles has outperformed Brady in the postseason.
Foles will look to showcase his talents even further Sunday night in Minneapolis. Win or lose, he won’t lose sight of what’s really important.
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