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Nick Foles' elbow cause of concern for Eagles

Nick Foles sat out Thursday's game against the Dolphins and has yet to play this preseason. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Following a two-week absence from practice, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles told reporters upon his return that he believed his sore elbow was a thing of the past.

“The big thing now is I feel it’s 100 percent healed,” he said. “I think beforehand there were things that lingered and it [was] not getting better.”

That was August 14. He began ramping up his activity from there, and was full-go by Monday's joint practice with the Miami Dolphins. On Tuesday, he was on the sidelines again as a result of elbow inflammation. Foles sat out Thursday's game against the Dolphins, as well. He has yet to play in the preseason.

"It just got a little sore on him, so I just didn't want to push him," head coach Doug Pederson explained following the game. "Again, the more rest that you can get on that elbow, the better."

The objective at the moment is to get the inflammation back down. If rest is the recipe, that puts his status for Thursday's preseason finale against the New York Jets in question.

Given that Foles is a vet familiar with the system, Pederson is not overly worried about the lack of reps. There is some concern creeping into parts of the NovaCare Complex about availability, however, with the regular season fast approaching.

Foles acknowledged there were times last year while with the Kansas City Chiefs where the elbow "flared up" for the first time in his career. He described days during his absence this summer where the arm felt "horrible" and others where it was just OK "but never days where it felt great." The 28-year-old talked about adjusting his biomechanics and learning proper fundamentals "so there's not as much pressure in that area, through the forearm."

While no alarm bells appear to be sounding within the organization, it would be difficult to feel totally confident that the elbow will be a non-issue this year.

The bigger hope, of course, is that it won't matter -- that Carson Wentz will stay healthy and play the whole season like he did as a rookie. The reality, though, is that quarterbacks go down in this league, and that the key to surviving a starter's absence is to have a quality backup who can keep the team afloat. That's why the Eagles gave Foles $7 million fully guaranteed this offseason despite being on the hook for about $7 million in dead money for Chase Daniel, now with the New Orleans Saints.

Despite the investment, the injury brings a level of uncertainty which could make the Eagles consider carrying a third quarterback. Matt McGloin holds that spot at the moment, though he's been inconsistent in camp. Keeping three QBs would not be ideal given the tough decisions already facing the team when it comes to constructing the 53-man roster; that's one less spot that could have been committed to wide receiver, defensive lineman or cornerback.

The cutdown deadline is one week away and the start of the regular season a week after that. That's not a lot of time for the Eagles to gain assurance the elbow issue is in the rearview.