QB peace prevails as Wentz nears return
As Carson Wentz progresses toward his return, QB peace holds
PHILADELPHIA » Carson Wentz hasn’t had a single setback in his comeback from torn knee ligaments.
With each Eagles practice Wentz does a little more, whether it’s running striders on an adjacent field while fellow quarterbacks Nick Foles and Nate Sudfeld alternate series, or playing catch with receiver Alshon Jeffery, who’s a pretty good target even when he’s not all the way back from a torn rotator cuff.
“So far, so good,” Wentz said after practice Wednesday. “The biggest hurdle, the last hurdle is going to be the contact issue. It’s hard to say, ‘I need X to be ready.’ I think at the end of the day I just need to be cleared for contact. Like you see out here now, I’m doing quite a bit and come (training) camp I’ll just keep progressing and doing more and more. To finally be cleared of that contact issue is really the last hurdle. And I feel I’ll be ready whenever that is.”
Wentz threw a Philly Special pass to Foles during a play-
ers goof-off segment of practice Wednesday. Minus a center in a shotgun drill, Wentz snapped to Foles, who threw it downfield. Wentz of course was standing upright. No need to push the knee with the lateral collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments he shredded early last December at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
You’re not alone if you’re wondering what in the world Wentz thinks of while he’s watching Foles, the Super Bowl MVP, run the firstteam offense of the squad that Wentz led to an 11-2 record last season before his injury.
Wentz set the Eagles’ single-season club record with his 33rd touchdown pass, firing it on a lame knee to Jeffery at the hallowed Coliseum. Foles stepped in for Wentz and led the Eagles to a victory over the Rams, spawning stories of the past in which he tied the single-game NFL-record with seven TD passes against the Oakland Raiders in 2013. His spikes are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
A lesser man would be at the throat of Foles for stealing his thunder, and his job and his dream. Yet, they coexist.
“I think first and foremost it’s the fact that we’re brothers in Christ,” Wentz said. “As brothers in Christ and just putting Christ first in our lives, that kind of breaks down every barrier, breaks down every wall. We realize there’s just so much more to life and such a bigger purpose out there than arguing over a lot of little things.”
That must be why Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has faith that his quarterback room won’t turn into the Octagon. What Pederson, the former passer, does very well is manage the quarterback position, using every tool at his disposal. Right now, the coach is playing the health card. It’s Wentz’s team, but not until he’s healthy. And Doug isn’t a doctor, blahblah-blah.
“Those are all things that are kind of out of our control and my control right now,” is the way Pederson put it.
Wentz is making all the throws that the Eagles allow him to make at practices. Even the knee brace hardly stands out. It looks like more of a sleeve than anything.
In terms of health, you don’t let an asset like Wentz fly to and from Cleveland in the space of 24 hours to watch LeBron James and the Cavaliers, lest swelling impact the knee.
Oh, and just so the Sixers know, Wentz will make the trip again, with or without Zach Ertz, or be at PHL airport to welcome LBJ if asked to recruit the freeagent-to-be.
“Absolutely, I hope he’s coming,” Wentz said. “Ertz and I were there the other night and unfortunately he lost and everything. I didn’t really care who won that game. Just seeing him live. We decided to make it a recruiting trip. … Hopefully he knows we were there.”
Wentz knows where he is. And he doesn’t think it’s necessary to play in the preseason to get over the contact hurdle.
“I kind of stay by my goal that I said a while ago which is Week 1,” Wentz said. “Preseason, we’ll see. We’ll see. Time will tell.
“But my goal is still targeting Week 1.”
Philadelphia Eagles quaterbacks Carson Wentz (11), Nick Foles (9), and Nate Sudfeld (7) walk together during the team’s practice at the NovaCare Complex last week. Wentz was having an MVP season before a torn ACL forced him to the sideline where he watched Foles lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, right, throws to receiver Mack Hollins during the team’s practice Wednesday in Philadelphia.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz runs a drill during practice at the team’s training camp Wednesday.