The Eagles lost their quarantine quarterback Wednesday after Josh McCown was signed to the Houston Texans' active roster.
McCown, whose agent announced the news on Twitter, spent the first half of the season on the Eagles' practice squad but only as an emergency quarterback. After being signed in September, he took part in meetings virtually while staying in his Texas home, socially distant from the rest of the team in case the Eagles' quarterback room collectively came down with the coronavirus.
The 41-year-old was Carson Wentz’s backup last season, and played in the team’s wild-card playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks after Wentz suffered a concussion in the first quarter. Both Wentz and Eagles coach Doug Pederson praised McCown’s mentorship last year.
“Having Josh around last year was huge for me but really for this entire building,” Wentz said in September. “I think he just provided a lot of insight, a lot of energy. He was kind of a mentor to a lot of guys. He’s twice the age of some of the guys in this building, so I always gave him a little crap for that. But it’s awesome to have him back.”
McCown and Wentz’s relationship was something the team valued so much that the Eagles reached out to McCown about joining their coaching staff last offseason.
“We just discussed the desire at some point in the future to coach and what that would look like,” McCown said. “I just knew with my family dynamic and where I am, I wasn’t ready to move forward in that area right now. We just keep an open dialogue about it, but there was never anything offered or anything like that. It was just more of a discussion of future and things of that nature.”
McCown, who moved to Texas in the offseason, turned down the coaching offer because he still had a desire to play. Joining the Texans will give him a chance to be on an NFL roster while still living at home with his family while serving as the third-string quarterback behind DeShaun Watson and A.J. McCarron.