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Will Foles' return send Sanchez to Eagles' bench?

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PHILADELPHIA -- There wasn't anyone, including Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, prepared to discuss what might happen if quarterback Nick Foles receives medical clearance to practice this week and then play on Saturday in Washington.

"I don't know anything about that," Kelly said. "So ..."

But in the coach's short tenure here, we believe we have found the threshold for how friendly his ready-made offense can possibly be. We believe Mark Sanchez might already know the answer to that question, should it come up early on Monday morning.

He spoke of missed opportunities on Sunday following a 38-27 loss and he blamed himself like he's learned to do over the years. After a long, brutal game, a post-speech debrief, several conversations with teammates, coaches and friends, he still knew where that football was supposed to hit Zach Ertz at the end of the third quarter. He certainly knew that it was instead tipped into the hands of J.J. Wilcox, giving Dallas the ball and the free pass to score a knockout punch on the following drive.

It was the first of two picks Sanchez threw on Sunday.

He knew he was talking like a quarterback that wasn't going to shoulder the blame for everything, especially after watching Bradley Fletcher get torched for three Dez Bryant touchdowns, but he knew he still had a chance to hang on to this job a little longer. That's what might linger after all of this. Over seven games and six starts, he had his opportunity. He won four games in a situation where he ended up needing to be perfect. He was not. Foles deserves to get his job back.

"That ball had to be right on the (jersey's) six of Ertz," Sanchez said. "The ball has to hit him right on the six. It opened up perfectly, it was a great call, great execution. Except for the throw; that was unacceptable."

When asked point blank if he was going to be the starter next week now that the Eagles do not control their own playoff destiny and would need a loss from the Cowboys or a complete combustion from either Green Bay or Detroit, Sanchez said: "I have no idea, but I need to clean up some mistakes and attack this thing with a positive attitude."

Another thing we might know about Kelly's offense is how accommodating it might be for someone like Foles, who broke his collarbone back on Nov. 2, to pilot after eight weeks rest. It was less than a year ago that the third-round pick was riding this system to a Pro Bowl. Despite a dip in production in 2014, there are inevitably nuances he understands better than Sanchez. There are situations he can place himself in where he might not need to be perfect.

"I mean, if anybody won't be hindered by the conditioning aspect of it, it'd be the quarterback," center Jason Kelce said when asked hypothetically how difficult it might be for a quarterback to return after two months. "He doesn't run too much. But I don't really want to get too much into that situation. I think the coaches are smart enough to understand what is going on. They'll be safe with Nick and make sure he's ready to come back when he's ready."

To be clear, no one is faulting Sanchez for his efforts. As a backup quarterback, he did his job admirably. In a league starved for quarterbacks, there's a shot he could compete to be a starter somewhere next season.

But he knows what he didn't do against the Cowboys on Sunday. And he knows that he might not get a chance to be perfect down the stretch. That's what the Eagles need.

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