Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (L) wasn't thrilled that the team drafted quarterback Jalen Hurts (R). Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The calls for the Philadelphia Eagles to bench Carson Wentz in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts grow louder by the week, and the presence of the former Alabama star may actually be one of the reasons Wentz has struggled so much this season.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler examined some of the factors that may be contributing to Wentz having the worst season of his career. One Eagles source told Fowler that the team’s decision to use a second-round draft pick on Hurts did not sit well with Wentz and caused him to “press.” The belief is that Wentz already had to prove he was worthy of the starting job over Nick Foles and is now once again uncertain if the Eagles are committed to him long-term.

“All that ground he gained over Nick, everything he fought past to get to this point, you pull it right back,” the source told Fowler. “Here is your franchise quarterback, the guy you paid a lot of money to keep long-term, and he’s having to prove himself all over again.”

Since the Eagles drafted him with the second-overall pick in 2016, Wentz has suffered multiple significant injuries. He suffered a torn ACL in 2017 and fractured his back in 2018. Philadelphia almost certainly had that injury history in mind when they used a high pick on Wentz, so he shouldn’t have felt that threatened by the team taking Hurts.

Even the Hurts pick is one of the reasons for Wentz’s poor play this season, that doesn’t bode well for his future with the Eagles. A franchise quarterback should be able to elevate his game when he feels like someone is gunning for his position. Wentz certainly has not done that, as evidenced by his league-worst 15 interceptions.

It doesn’t sound like the Eagles intend to bench Wentz, though you may disagree with their reasoning behind sticking with him. However, if the presence of Hurts bothers him that much, it may not be long before Philly has to simply accept in inevitable.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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