Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz To Start In Week 3

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has been medically cleared and will start against the Colts on Sunday, the club announced today.

Wentz is roughly nine months removed from tearing his ACL, so it’s no surprise Philadelphia used a cautious approach with its franchise signal-caller. While he’d been cleared for 11-on-11 drills, Wentz hadn’t been cleared for full contact until today. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has previously indicated Wentz will need a week of full contact practice before he’ll be re-inserted as the club’s starter.

The Eagles had the luxury of deploying Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles during their first two games and managed to post a 1-1 record. Foles wasn’t very effective during Philadelphia’s Week 1 win over the Falcons, as he completed just 56% of his passes for 117 yards and one interceptions. He performed much better against the Buccaneers on Sunday (73% completion rate, 334 yards, one touchdown), but the Eagles still lost 27-21.

Wentz, of course, was playing at an MVP pace before going down last December. In 13 starts, Wentz posted 3,296 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions and was named second-team All-Pro despite missing three games. Among the 26 quarterbacks with at least 350 attempts in 2017, Wentz ranked second in ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating, fourth in passer rating, and fourth in adjusted yards per attempt.

Wentz won’t return with his full arsenal at hand, as wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is still recovering from shoulder surgery while Mike Wallace injured his ankle on Sunday. However, Jeffery is expected to practice on a limited basis this week, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN.com, so he could return to game action in the near future. And Wallace will not be placed on injured reserve after fracturing his fibula, Pederson said today, which means the Eagles may believe he could return later this year.

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Injury Notes: Wentz, Bosa, Mariota

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz could be cleared for contact this week, and that may put him on track to make his 2018 debut in Week 3, as was suggested last Sunday. But Rapoport says the team is in no rush to have Wentz return to game action, because it is more concerned about the next 10 to 15 years, not the next 10 to 15 minutes. As such, if the Eagles need to keep Wentz out longer to make sure he is fully recovered from his torn ACL and LCL, they are fully committed to doing so.

However, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that Wentz is indeed on track to be back under center for the Eagles against the Colts next week, and he suggests that Philadelphia will have no issue in deploying Wentz as soon as he is cleared for contract.

Now let’s take a look at a few more reports concerning injuries to some of the league’s biggest names:

  • This is not much of a surprise given a report from earlier this week, but Schefter reports that Chargers DE Joey Bosa is expected to be sidelined until at least October. Bosa is continuing to rehab his foot with the hope that the swelling goes down and the foot stabilizes, but surgery is still very much in play if that does not happen.
  • Titans QB Marcus Mariota has not yet regained complete feeling in his fingers, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Schefter adds (via Twitter) that Mariota is still unable to grip the football normally as a result, which means that Blaine Gabbert may be starting under center for Tennessee for at least Week 2.
  • Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette is unlikely to play against the Patriots today, per Schefter, but it sounds as though Fournette is making good progress in his recovery from the hamstring injury he suffered last week. Even if the second-year back is unable to suit up today, he could be back in action next week.
  • Rapoport confirms (via Twitter) a report from Tuesday that Panthers TE Greg Olsen is hoping to return much sooner than was originally anticipated when he fractured his foot in the team’s season-opening win over the Cowboys. Rapoport says that Olsen hopes to be back on the field in four to five weeks, and he will have the foot — the same one he broke last year — reevaluated after the season.
  • We received a status update on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers earlier today.

Carson Wentz Could Return For Week 3

After a report yesterday indicated that Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was still “multiple weeks away” from making his 2018 debut and officially completing his recovery from the torn ACL he suffered last December, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com has good news for Eagles fans. Mortensen tweets that Wentz’s return will come sooner rather than later, and that Week 3 is a realistic target.

Week 3 has also been mentioned as the potential return date for Philadelphia’s top wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery, so the Eagles’ offense could be back to full-strength in short order. The team was able to scratch out a win in the season opener on Thursday night against the Falcons, and the hope is that Nick Foles will be able to quarterback another victory against the Buccaneers — who are also missing their No. 1 QB — next Sunday before handing the reins back to Wentz for the Week 3 matchup against the Colts. Although Mortensen reported that Wentz could theoretically return for the Bucs game, he says Week 3 is more realistic.

Foles was not particularly impressive in the victory over Atlanta, and he put together a horrible preseason. Although the Super Bowl LII MVP remains one of the best backup signal-callers in the game, Philadelphia is understandably anxious to get Wentz back on the field.

If Wentz does return for Week 3, he would still be on the early end of the ACL recovery timeline; typically, it takes nine to 12 months for a player who has suffered a torn ACL to return to game action. Wentz was playing at an MVP level prior to his injury, and there is no reason to believe he will be unable to return to that form.

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Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery Still Multiple Weeks Away

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery are still multiple weeks away from playing as they recover from injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) and Jenny Vrentas of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link).

Wentz is roughly nine months removed from tearing his ACL, so it’s no surprise Philadelphia is taking a cautious approach with its franchise signal-caller. While he’s been cleared for 11-on-11 drills, Wentz isn’t allowed to practice with full contact just yet. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has previously indicated Wentz will need a week of full contact practice before he’ll be re-inserted as the club’s starter.

Philadelphia has the luxury of deploying Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles under center until Wentz is healthy enough to play. The Eagles managed to win the season opener on Thursday night, but Foles wasn’t very effective in the ugly victory. He completed 19-of-34 passes for just 117 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception.

Jeffery, meanwhile, is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, and was at one point considered a candidate for the physically unable to perform list, which would have forced him to miss the first six games of the season. Instead, the Eagles opted to keep Jeffery on the active roster, and recent reports have indicated he could return by Week 3.

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Eagles To Start Nick Foles In Week 1

While Carson Wentz is close to returning, the Eagles will play it safe for the time being. Nick Foles will start for the defending Super Bowl champions in Week 1 against the Falcons, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Wentz is on the verge of completing a “fantastic” rehab, in the Eagles’ eyes, after tearing an ACL and LCL late last year. The Eagles, however, are prioritizing Wentz’s long-term health over having him start before he’s 100 percent ready, Rapoport adds.

The starter’s been cleared for 11-on-11 sessions but interestingly has not been given the green light for contact work yet. So, Foles will start the season after delivering Philadelphia its first Super Bowl title. The Eagles redid Foles’ contract this offseason and turned down trade offers for their high-level backup.

While Foles did not perform well in the Eagles’ dress-rehearsal game in Cleveland, he still delivered a dominant postseason and will face the Falcons for the second time this year.

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Carson Wentz Not Cleared For Contact; Latest on Alshon Jeffery

Despite being cleared for 11-on-11 drills last weekend, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has still not been cleared for contact, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports (via Twitter). We are less than 11 days away from the team’s September 6 opener against the Falcons, and as Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com notes, head coach Doug Pederson has previously indicated that he would like Wentz to practice for a full week after being cleared for contact before he plays in an actual game.

Which means, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com observes (via Twitter), time is getting short if Wentz is to be under center on Week 1. Pederson, meanwhile, declined to say when Wentz might be cleared. He said simply, “[w]hen they clear him, he’ll be cleared.”

Recovery from torn ACLs typically takes nine to 12 months, and September 10 will mark nine months from the time of Wentz’s ACL tear. He has consistently maintained that it will be a close call as to whether he will be ready to go for the start of the regular season, and the fact that he has still not been cleared for contact casts his chances into deeper doubt. Of course, reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will serve as the team’s signal-caller until Wentz is ready (though after Foles’ atrocious preseason, Eagles fans may not be entirely comfortable with that prospect).

And, while Wentz’s recovery has dominated headlines when it comes to injured Eagles, McLane notes in a separate tweet that Pederson also did not have an update on wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who is still on the PUP list. If Jeffery remains on PUP when the season starts, he will be forced to miss at least the first six weeks of the season.

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Carson Wentz Cleared For 11-On-11 Drills

As Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz continues his rehabilitation from a torn ACL, he’s been medically cleared to participate in 11-on-11 drills, per Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

The news isn’t a complete surprise, as Wentz had been expected to be cleared at some point over the next week. But the revelation is undoubtedly a positive, especially given that Eagles head coach Doug Pederson recently said Wentz would need to participate in at least a week’s worth of 11-on-11 work in order to suit up for Week 1. However, as Wentz said earlier this week, there is no guarantee he’ll be ready for Philadelphia’s season opener.

“I obviously would love to be out there,” Wentz said. “That’s been my goal all offseason ever since the injury. It’s going to be close. It’s going to be close. I’m still eyeing that date. At the end of the day, it’s not just my decision. There’s coaches and doctors that really have the final say. I really like where I’m at and time will tell here.”

Wentz has yet to be cleared for contact, the next step in his recovery, but the Eagles have options at the ready if he’s not available for Week 1. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is dealing with a shoulder injury but isn’t expected to miss extended time, and he’d fill in if Wentz misses any regular season action. Philadelphia also has Nate Sudfeld, Joe Callahan, and Christian Hackbenerg on its roster.

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Carson Wentz On Week 1: “It’s Going To Be Close”

Carson Wentz is already likely to sit out the entirety of the preseason as he recovers from a December ACL injury, but the Eagles quarterback today admitted that he may not be ready for Week 1 of the regular season, either.

[RELATED: Alshon Jeffery To Miss Games?]

“I obviously would love to be out there,” Wentz said, per Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “That’s been my goal all offseason ever since the injury. It’s going to be close. It’s going to be close. I’m still eyeing that date. At the end of the day, it’s not just my decision. There’s coaches and doctors that really have the final say. I really like where I’m at and time will tell here.”

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson would prefer Wentz handles a week of 11-on-11 work before playing in a regular season game, tweets Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Wentz, for his part, told reporters he expects to be cleared for 11-on-11 sessions next week, although that won’t entail him being cleared for contact, according to Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).

Heading into Week 1 without Wentz, who was playing at an MVP-caliber level in 2017 before injuring his knee, clearly isn’t preferable, but the Eagles do have Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles in tow as a more-than-capable reserve. Other quarterbacks on Philadelphia’s roster include Nate SudfeldJoe Callahan and the recently-signed Christian Hackenberg.

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Carson Wentz Unlikely To Play In Preseason

The general feeling in Philadelphia is that Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz will not appear in any preseason games as he recovers from a torn ACL, according to Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia and Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. However, Wentz is still expected to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season.

“I don’t think it’s a big hurdle for me,” Wentz said of not playing in any exhibition contests. “Would I love to be out there on Thursday? Absolutely. I’d love to be out there every day. But I think for me personally, I think I’ll be fine if I don’t get out there for preseason.”

Wentz has been a limited participant in Eagles’ training camp, per Berman, as he’s performed in seven-on-seven drills but hasn’t practiced in full-team workouts. That regimen will continue until Wentz is given a full medical clearance, something that should be on the horizon. Until then, Philadelphia won’t place Wentz in any situation where could collide with other players.

“It can be a rhythm game, you kind of get in a groove and everything,” Wentz said. “But that’s kind of the challenge I have right now. It’s kind of like being on the sideline for a long period time in a game, a long drive from the other team or something like that. Sometimes it just helps to find the rhythm, and right now I’ve got to get the most of it.”

Missing the majority or the entirety of the preseason shouldn’t be much of a problem for Wentz, as he likely would have sparingly played even if he’d been at full health. The Eagles could use exhibition season to get extra repetitions for fellow quarterbacks Nick Foles (who could be called on in the event Wentz misses regular season action) and Nate Sudfeld.

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NFC East Notes: Eagles, Redskins, Cowboys

Although Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz wasn’t placed on the physically unable to perform list to start training camp, Philadelphia’s plan for its signal-caller — who tore his ACL in December — isn’t exactly clear, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer details. Wentz participated in last Sunday’s workout in a limited fashion, and then wasn’t involved in on-field activities for the remainder of the week. Although both Wentz and the Eagles have maintained the third-year pro hasn’t suffered any setbacks, Philadelphia will need to balance its attempts to get Wentz ready with the requirement of preparing backup Nick Foles in the event Wentz isn’t ready for Week 1.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Cornerback Josh Norman‘s future with the Redskins hinges on a number of factors, as John Keim of ESPN.com explains in his latest mailbag. Washington had added depth to its defensive backfield recently, and if Quinton Dunbar or 2017 third-rounder Fabian Moreau proves capable of starting this season, the Redskins could move on from Norman, who inked a five-year, $75MM deal in 2016. Financials, then, play another role in Norman’s fate in the nation’s capital. After counting for a massive $20MM on the Redskins’ salary cap in 2017, Norman’s charge will decrease to roughly $17MM this year and $14,5MM in 2019. Washington would save $8.5MM by cutting Norman before June of 2019, and $11.5MM by designating him a post-June 1 release.
  • Tavon Austin has been a jack-of-all-trades for the Cowboys since he was acquired via trade during the draft, but there’s one area of his game that hasn’t yet been utilized. “All the things you see me doing out here is pretty much what I’ll be doing,” Austin said, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “I ain’t touched the backfield yet, but hopefully, eventually if they need me back there, I’ll be back there too.” Dallas picked up Austin, a disappointing former first-round pick, from Los Angeles in exchange for a sixth-round pick, and he’s now expected to be the club’s primary punt returner.
  • The Giants are experimenting by using longtime cornerback William Gay at safety, writes Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. Gay, who spent most of his time at corner over an 11-year career mostly spent in Pittsburgh, would give New York another option alongside Landon Collins and Darian Thompson. Gay, 33, saw a bit of action as a linebacker/safety with the Steelers, and also has experience in the slot, so a move to safety shouldn’t be all too challenging.