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Philadelphia Eagles have a lot of confidence in Nick Foles

When Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL last Sunday, it more than ended his season. It also placed Nick Foles squarely in the spotlight.

A sudden starter for a playoff team, Foles is once again charged with the pressure-packed responsibility of keeping the Eagles on their current path. The thing is, this team has watched as Foles was a star before.

"We've seen Nick be very good," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie told this week. "And that year, 27 touchdowns, was no fluke. This is a better football team than that team. He's surrounded with a better team now than when he was with us before. So, we have a real resilient group of guys and I know we'll play hard and I think we'll play well. And shoot for the No. 1 seed if we can get it."

In 2013, under Chip Kelly and before he was traded for Sam Bradford, Foles had a 64-percent completion percentage, 27 touchdowns to two interceptions and a 119 passer rating. He appeared to be a star in the making. Instead, it started an odyssey that sent him to the Rams, the Chiefs and back to Philly.

At 11-2, with a division title and playoff berth clinched, the team had the highest of expectations with Wentz. Lurie said that hasn't changed.

"No, it really hasn't. You have that initial worry," Lurie said. "We lost Jason Peters, it was like, 'Oh my god. How we going to protect the quarterback? Ugh, we lost Darren Sproles. How are we going to have any kind of receiving game out of the backfield and blitz protection.

"Ugh, we lost our play-caller on defense, Jordan Hicks. How are we going to manage? Jeez, our special teams were good but we lost our best special teams player, [Chris] Maragos. We just got to have the same attitude, exact same approach.

"We've planned for having a really good backup quarterback who I think is capable of being a good starter in the league," Lurie continued. "We just got to go for it."

Foles actually turned down more money elsewhere, a source said, to return to the Eagles, where he was comfortable and had found success. He ended up signing a two-year, $11 million deal with $7 million guaranteed -- among the highest-paid pure backups in the NFL.

"We purposely invested a lot in the backup quarterback position," Lurie said. "Nick was a Pro Bowl player for us. He's a great guy with a lot of talent."

The loss of Wentz stings. No doubt. Doctors informed him he would be ready for the regular season, a source said, and the only ligament he tore was his ACL.

Wentz, who flew into town Saturday from Pittsburgh where he had surgery, did have a partially torn IT band and a meniscus issue that was fixed. But nothing that would affect his timetable.

"All of us who have so much emotions in it, it's heart-wrenching initially," Lurie said, "but then you know, our team is very resilient."

Foles had a really good week of practice, sources say. He may be less mobile than Wentz, but the passing game will remain the same. It's just a matter of him keeping it going.

There is confidence. And defiance. That was the feel of coach Doug Pederson's news conference the day after. It wasn't lost on Lurie.

"No doubt, [Pederson] was talking to the team," Lurie said. "We've got a great group of guys, a great locker room culture. They are in a great position, 11-2. They love Carson and they love Nick and now we just going to have to do it with Nick. We see him every day in practice and we've got a very special player in Carson. Now we have to do with a guy that we have a lot of confidence in in Nick."

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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