Eagles lose quarterback Nick Foles to broken clavicle; Ryans and Herremans also out



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PHILADELPHIA — Back in first place, the Philadelphia Eagles will try to stay there without their quarterback and their defensive captain.

Nick Foles has a broken clavicle and it's uncertain when he'll return. Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans is out for the rest of the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon, according to a person familiar with the injury who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team didn't release details. Also, right guard Todd Herremans, already playing with a torn left biceps, has an ankle injury.

Coach Chip Kelly said Monday that Foles, Ryans and Herremans were having MRI exams to determine the extent of their injuries. Ryans was placed on injured reserve.

Foles was injured on a sack by Whitney Mercilus in the first quarter of Philadelphia's 31-21 win over Houston on Sunday. Mark Sanchez replaced Foles and led the NFC East-leading Eagles (6-2) to victory in his first action since 2012.

Sanchez will make his first start in 23 months under the prime-time lights next Monday night against the Carolina Panthers (3-5-1).

"I feel great about Mark," Kelly said. "We felt great about him all along. I always said we needed two quarterbacks. I thought he's done a great job in our system. I thought he played outstanding in the preseason and showed no rust or anything when he got in there against Houston yesterday. So we feel real confident and feel obviously very bad for Nick that he's out, but I feel very confident in Mark if we have to go in that direction."

Foles had been inconsistent this season. He has 13 touchdown passes, 10 interceptions and a passer rating of 81.5. Foles set an NFL record for best TD/interception ratio in 2013 with 27 TDs and only two picks while helping the Eagles win the division after going 4-12 in 2012. His passer rating of 119.2 was the third-highest ever and he capped off the breakout year by being named offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl.

Sanchez finished 15 of 22 for 202 yards, two TDs and two interceptions against the Texans.

"Nothing changes," Sanchez said. "How do I prepare to play? How do I prepare to watch a game? It's the same. I might get less reps as a backup but I am watching the same amount of film, I am doing the same amount of drills, I am taking advantage of my time that I can during the week and I can't cut corners or l'll get caught off guard out there. This league will expose you and you got to be ready."

Sanchez, a former No. 5 overall pick, once was the franchise quarterback for the New York Jets. He led the Jets to the AFC championship game his first two seasons but struggled the next two and lost his starting job to rookie Geno Smith last year. Sanchez missed the 2013 season after tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in a preseason game.

"He has played a lot of football in this league," wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said. "He plays at a high level. I think he is one of the more game-ready backup quarterbacks in this league."

Ryans was the team leader in the huddle and locker room. He's well-respected by coaches, teammates and the entire organization. Casey Matthews replaces him as the starter.

"DeMeco is a rock for us on defense," linebacker Conor Barwin said. "He is just a great person, a great leader. That's why everyone has a lot of respect for him. Obviously guys will have to step up. I think the guys behind him are more than capable."

The Eagles were close to having their offensive line together for the first time this season before Herremans got hurt. Center Jason Kelce returned after missing four games following sports hernia surgery. Evan Mathis, an All-Pro left guard last year, is set to return this week after injuring his knee in Week 1.

Andrew Gardner replaced Herremans against the Texans. Either Gardner or Matt Tobin, who has been playing left guard, would start against the Panthers if Herremans can't play.


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