Eagles Rumors

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Opinion: Dolphins Should Trade For Eagles' Darby

  • The Dolphins are in search of cornerback help and Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com suggests Ronald Darby of the Eagles as a possible solution for Miami. Darby has lots of potential, but he’s set to be a free agent after the season and the Eagles’ have yet to sign him, so he might not be in Philly’s long-term plans. If the Eagles were to trade Darby, the could play Sidney Jones at outside cornerback rather than nickel cornerback. Then, to fill the hole at nickel, the Eagles could give more time to the likes of Avonte Maddox and De’Vante Bausby. The Eagles wouldn’t be as strong at cornerback without Darby, but this could be an opportunity for the Eagles to get something of value for him instead of letting him walk next year.

Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery To Miss Games?

Alshon Jeffery may need more time to recover than initially expected. Jeffery is progressing according to plan, but the timing of his rotator cuff surgery means there’s a chance that he might not be ready to go in Week 1, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

[RELATED: Carson Wentz Unlikely To Play In Preseason]

Jeffery is currently on the offseason PUP list, which has no real bearing on his roster status for the regular season. However, if Jeffery remains on PUP when the season starts, he’ll be forced to miss at least the first six weeks of the season. That would be a major blow to the Eagles, particularly when considering that quarterback Carson Wentz is not a lock to play in the opener either.

Despite playing through the rotator cuff injury, Jeffery caught 57 passes for 789 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He went on to add three more TDs in the playoffs, which came shortly after he signed a substantial four-year extension with the Eagles.

The Eagles have depth at the wide receiver position, but none of the other receivers have the same big-play ability as Jeffery. If Jeffery misses time, Nelson Agholor and Mike Wallace figure to see extra targets while Mack Hollins and Markus Wheaton may get more involved than previously expected. Recent addition Kamar Aiken, meanwhile, would have improved odds of making the 53-man cut.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Notes: Hackenberg, Bradham, Aiken

Eagles To Sign QB Christian Hackenberg

The Eagles have agreed to sign free agent quarterback Christian Hackenberg, a source tells Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). Philadelphia has since announced the move as a one-year deal and added that it’s waived/injured center Ian Park.

Philadelphia, of course, is moving starting quarterback Carson Wentz along slowly as he recovers from a torn ACL, while backup and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is dealing with a minor neck injury that kept him out of practice for several days. But the Eagles are reportedly high on third-stringer Nate Sudfeld, and also have Joe Callahan on their roster, so practice reps might be limited for Hackenberg.

The signing of Hackenberg does not reflect on either Wentz or Foles’ injuries, per Pelissero, who adds the Eagles simply are taking a chance to develop a still youthful quarterback, one who comes with second-round pedigree. With Wentz likely to sit out the entirety of the preseason, Hackenberg could conceivably see snaps as the exhibition season draws to a close.

The Jets selected Hackenberg with the 51st overall pick in the 2016 draft, but he never saw the field during two regular season campaigns. New York traded the now-23-year-old to the Raiders in May (adding a 2019 seventh-round pick that contained conditions that were not met), but Hackenberg lasted less than month on Oakland’s roster. He subsequently met with the Patriots, but hadn’t yet landed a new contract with any club.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Douglas Hasn't Improved Like Eagles Hoped

  • The subject of Rasul Douglas moving to safety surfaced at Eagles practice, but the coaching staff shot that down, Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Philly lost Patrick Robinson and has Ronald Darby going into a contract year, so it would make sense Douglas stays at corner. Philadelphia’s staff still believes Douglas can have a quality career as a corner, although Kapadia adds he has not progressed like the team was hoping going into his second season.
  • Donnel Pumphrey may be in his final days as an Eagle, with Kapadia pointing out the “lower body” injury he suffered in the defending Super Bowl champions’ preseason opener may put him too far behind the other combatants in a hotly contested race to make the 53-man roster as the No. 4 running back. Wendell Smallwood, Matt Jones and rookie UDFA Josh Adams comprise the rest of that race, and Kapadia adds that Jones may be behind the other two after the Eagles’ first preseason game. The Eagles gave Adams a sizable guarantee to sign after the draft.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/11/18

Here are Saturday’s minor moves.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: CB Ryan Neal
  • Waived: T Kendall Calhoun

Denver Broncos

  • Claimed off waivers from Bengals: T Austin Fleer

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: DL Lord Hyeamang

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Released from IR: TE Adam Zaruba

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: DB Trey Caldwell, DB Kenneth Durden
  • Waived: CB Jarell Carter, CB Joseph Este

Washington Redskins

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Titans, Vaccaro, Eagles

Kenny Vaccaro’s one-year deal with the Titans includes no guarantees, but his base salary will be locked in if he’s on the Week 1 roster, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Between the $100K bonus he’ll also receive in Week 1 and other bonuses, Vaccaro can earn up to $2.75MM with Tennessee.

It’s a far cry from what Vaccaro likely expected in March, but it’s not a bad deal considering the way the free agent safety market played out this offseason. Vaccaro will turn 28 next February, so he could be in line for a solid multi-year deal if he plays well in Johnathan Cyprien‘s absence.

Here’s a look at details on other recent contracts, courtesy of Pelissero:

Eagles' Douglas On Trade Block?

  • Within the aforementioned piece, ESPN.com’s Tim McManus suggests that Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas could wind up on the block. There hasn’t been a ton of talk about Douglas being traded, but the Eagles have plenty of cornerback options and could afford to part with Douglas for the right offer. The former third-round choice out of West Virginia offers good size with his 6’2″, 209-pound frame and could hold some appeal for other clubs. McManus notes that the Eagles also could deal from their surplus receivers and offensive linemen.