Nate Sudfeld has been on a fast track this week that took him on a coast-to-coast trip with a change in jobs, and a crash course in learning what is required of him from his new employer.
That's part of what goes with the job of being a backup quarterback in the National Football League.
On Monday Sudfeld was a member of the San Francisco 49ers and preparing to start his seventh season in the NFL.
On Tuesday he was a member of the Detroit Lions, after being released by the 49ers and signed by the Lions. That was the beginning of a hectic few days for Sudfeld to join his new team.
Sudfeld experienced a whirlwind of emotions, which is understandable considering he was told by one team he wasn't wanted anymore – and had to fly coast to coast to meet his new one.
"It's been fast," Sudfeld said Thursday after his second day of practice with his new team.
"Things ended in San Francisco, and basically I caught a red-eye out here. Landed at 5.a.m. (Wednesday) and went straight here for a physical and meetings and practice yesterday.
"I was going off about an hour of 'flight sleep.' Last night I was able to get nine hours of sleep. I felt really good today.
"It happened fast, but I'm super pumped to be here."
Sudfeld caught a break in one way after being released by the 49ers. The Lions were without a backup after releasing Tim Boyle and waiving David Blough in the mandatory cut to a 53-player roster limit.
Boyle and Blough battled the last two years for the backup job to Lions starter Jared Goff. With both gone, the Lions were left with Goff as the only quarterback on the roster.
The backup quarterback role fits Sudfeld. He has played the role since entering the league as Washington's sixth-round draft pick out of Indiana.
Sudfeld has spent six seasons in the league with three teams – one with Washington (2016) four with Philadelphia (2017-2020) and one with San Francisco (2021).
In college he was a four-year player and three-year starter for Indiana. He played 30 games with 26 starts, all in his last three seasons. He threw 61 TD passes against 20 interceptions with a career completion rate of 60.3 percent.
View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Thursday, September 1, 2022.
In his four NFL games, all with the Eagles, Sudfeld has completed 25 of 37 passes for 188 yards, one TD and one interception, and a completion rate of 67.6 percent.
Sudfeld has learned a lot in his six years in the NFL, and he expects that will help him support Goff as he enters his seventh year.
"I've learned from a lot of great guys," he said. "I had a lot of great guys when I was young keep me under their wings -- teach me the ropes. I've been able to pay it forward with the young guys I've been around.
"I've been able to learn a lot through that time, help the starter prepare, but also getting prepared as the backup because you're one play away."