For Pete's Sake

Nick Foles nearly quit NFL, but prayer led him to Chiefs. Now he’s on cusp of Super Bowl

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. The Associated Press

In 2015, quarterback Nick Foles lost his starting job with the St. Louis Rams to Case Keenum, and wondered if he had a future in the NFL.

Ironically, Foles and the Eagles will face the Vikings and Keenum in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia.

But Foles said on a devotional series on YouVersion’s Bible app that after leaving the Rams in 2016, he nearly quit the game.

“I wanted to retire from the NFL, and I really struggled,” Foles said. “I couldn’t pick up a football for about eight months. I had no love for the game, and it was tough.”

Foles, 28, talked more about that time of his life during a news conference in Philadelphia. Ultimately, prayer led Foles to reunite with Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who had drafted Foles in 2012 when he coached the Eagles.

The Chiefs signed Foles before the 2016 season and he appeared in three games, making one start. Foles completed 36-of-55 passes for 410 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

“I talked a lot to my wife and I remember just saying a prayer,” Foles said this week. “I literally said a prayer and then ... my heart said go back. At that moment, it was going to back to play for coach Reid, and when I did, you know, I am a better person because of that decision.

“It wasn’t an easy decision. It’s not like it was 100 percent, but my faith and my guidance and the way I felt like going into that experience allowed me to grow to make me a better player now, because you experience those emotions, you go through that. It’s an emotional thing, it’s something I’ve done my entire life. And to go through that and make that decision, it wasn’t easy.”

Foles signed with the Eagles before the 2017 season to be a backup to starter Carson Wentz. But Wentz suffered a season-ending injury against the Rams on Dec. 10 and Foles has the Eagles one step from their third Super Bowl appearance.

Obviously, Foles is happy he made that choice to join the Chiefs.

“I leaned on my wife,” Foles said, “I leaned on my family, I leaned on my faith in those moments and I’m very grateful for the decision I did and we made it together.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff