Rookie to start at QB for Ea­gles

The Daily Herald - - SPORTS -

PHILADEL­PHIA — The Car­son Wentz era of­fi­cially be­gins Sun­day.

Philadel­phia Ea­gles head coach Doug Ped­er­son con­firmed Mon­day morn­ing that the rookie quar­ter­back will start against the Cleve­land Browns.

“Every­body feels like this kid is ready to go,” Ped­er­son said. “We drafted him to take over the reins. We have to be smart in how we han­dle it, but at the same time, we fully ex­pect him to per­form like he’s ca­pa­ble of per­form­ing.”

Ped­er­son said Wentz’s two frac­tured ribs, which kept him out of the last three pre­sea­son games, have com­pletely healed.

“What he’s done around this build­ing, the plays he’s made in prac­tice, in the one pre­sea­son game, has given me con­fi­dence that he can lead this foot­ball team,” Ped­er­son said. “I’m ex­cited. We’re go­ing full steam ahead.”

Ped­er­son said he would have been con­tent to let Wentz spend the sea­son watch­ing and learn­ing be­hind Sam Brad­ford, but when the Min­nesota Vik­ings of­fered the Ea­gles a first-round pick and a con­di­tional fourthround se­lec­tion for Brad­ford over the week­end, every­thing changed.

“Would the ideal sit­u­a­tion be later than sooner? Sure,” Ped­er­son said. “But right now, where we are, we’ve got a good foot­ball team around him. We’ve got a good de­fense. Good spe­cial teams. Good of­fen­sive line. Good run­ner. So all the pieces are here for him to be suc­cess­ful and for us to win some games.”

O’Brien: Watt will play Sun­day

HOUS­TON — All-Pro de­fen­sive line­man J.J. Watt will play in Hous­ton’s sea­son opener against the Chicago Bears on Sun­day.

Watt re­turned to prac­tice Mon­day for the first time since un­der­go­ing back surgery in July. Coach Bill O’Brien said af­ter prac­tice that Watt would play.

Watt missed all of train­ing camp and the Tex­ans’ four pre­sea­son games af­ter surgery to re­pair a her­ni­ated disk in his back.

Ravens bring back Forsett

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Justin Forsett was re-signed by the Bal­ti­more Ravens, who cut the for­mer Pro Bowl run­ning back Satur­day.

Forsett ran for 1,266 yards in 2014 and car­ried for 641 yards as the starter last year be­fore a bro­ken arm cut short his sea­son in late Novem­ber.

He saw lim­ited ac­tion in the pre­sea­son be­fore be­ing re­leased in a sur­pris­ing move. That left the Ravens with just two healthy run­ning backs: Ter­rance West and Ja­vo­rius Allen.

The team of­fered no ex­pla­na­tion for his re­lease, or why he was brought back.

Forsett was due to re­ceive $3 mil­lion this sea­son. He will have to sign a new con­tract be­fore re­turn­ing to prac­tice Tues­day

49ers cut TE Miller

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Fran­cisco 49ers re­leased tight end Bruce Miller on Mon­day, just hours af­ter he was ar­rested for as­sault­ing two men.

Miller was charged with ag­gra­vated as­sault, el­der abuse, threats and bat­tery af­ter an early-morn­ing fight at a San Fran­cisco ho­tel, ac­cord­ing to the San Fran­cisco Po­lice De­part­ment. Miller was booked into county jail.

The po­lice said they were called to the ho­tel at ap­prox­i­mately 2:45 a.m. af­ter Miller tried to en­ter a ho­tel room oc­cu­pied by an el­derly cou­ple. The cou­ple’s 29-year-old son, stay­ing in the next room, then told Miller he was at the wrong room. Miller, who was in­tox­i­cated at the time, at­tacked the son and his 70-year-old fa­ther, who came to his son’s de­fense, po­lice said.

Kaeper­nick jersey sales up

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Sales of Colin Kaeper­nick’s jersey have jumped to No. 3 in the NFL since the San Fran­cisco 49ers quar­ter­back be­gan his na­tional-an­them protest, ac­cord­ing to NFL.com.

The only NFL play­ers with hot­terselling jer­seys are Dal­las rookie run­ning back Ezekiel El­liott and New York Gi­ants wide re­ceiver Odell Beck­ham Jr.

Ac­cord­ing to the 49ers’ web­site, Kaeper­nick’s jersey is the top seller on the team. It was the sixth-best seller be­fore the protest. More Kaeper­nick gear has been sold in the past week than the pre­vi­ous eight months com­bined, ESPN re­ported.

Kaeper­nick an­nounced last week he would no longer stand for the na­tional an­them as a protest against racial in­jus­tice.

Fos­ter to start vs. Sea­hawks

DAVIE, Fla. — Four-time Pro Bowl run­ning back Ar­ian Fos­ter is a starter again.

Fos­ter was listed with the first unit on the Mi­ami Dol­phins’ depth chart Mon­day and will start their opener Sun­day at Seat­tle less than 11 months af­ter tear­ing his Achilles ten­don while with the Hous­ton Tex­ans.

Signed by Mi­ami in July, Fos­ter rushed for just 5 yards on seven car­ries in the pre­sea­son, but beat out Jay Ajayi for the start­ing job.

Fos­ter holds the Tex­ans’ fran­chise record with 6,472 yards rush­ing, but in­juries have lim­ited him to 25 games over the past three years. He played in just four games last sea­son, av­er­ag­ing 2.6 yards per carry.

Sanchez to back up Prescott

FRISCO, Texas — While Mark Sanchez has a new of­fense to learn in Dal­las, the vet­eran quar­ter­back sees an­other im­por­tant el­e­ment of his role in his first week as the backup to rookie Dak Prescott, who is pre­par­ing for the opener against the New York Gi­ants.

Af­ter all, Sanchez was a rookie starter once, too.

“You don’t want to bom­bard the guy, es­pe­cially as a rookie,” Sanchez said af­ter his first prac­tice with the Cow­boys on Mon­day. “And I know from ex­pe­ri­ence that’s re­ally im­por­tant. You don’t need a mil­lion peo­ple telling you how to throw a slant route. You just need to go with what you know, be as com­fort­able as you can, and I’m here to help.”

Sanchez signed with Dal­las on Sun­day, a day af­ter he was re­leased in Den­ver when he lost a bat­tle for the start­ing job to sec­ond-year player Trevor Siemian. He could end up as the No. 3 quar­ter­back in Dal­las when Tony Romo re­turns from a bro­ken bone in his back, although it’s still not known when Romo will be ready. TO­DAY WED­NES­DAY TO­DAY RA­DIO BASE­BALL

WED­NES­DAY

BASE­BALL

MEL EVANS / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Philadel­phia Ea­gles rookie quar­ter­back Car­son Wentz throws a pass dur­ing the sec­ond half a pre­sea­son game last month against Tampa Bay. Wentz will start for the Ea­gles against the Cleve­land Browns on Sun­day.

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