There’s a reason why Carson Wentz went a long time without throwing a football after the 2016 NFL season ended. According to the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, Wentz developed elbow soreness during his rookie season.
Carson Wentz experienced soreness in his right elbow last season that the Eagles believed was related to his throwing mechanics, sources close to the situation said.
The soreness wasn't significant enough that Wentz had to be listed on the team's injury report, and the Eagles also believed that it was partly because the rookie quarterback was throwing more than he ever had in his career. But his elbow pain was significant enough that the Eagles stressed that he took additional time off after the season ended.
It’s certainly true Wentz was throwing more than he ever had in his career. In four years at North Dakota State, Wentz attempted a combine 612 passes (average of 153 per season). As a rookie in 2016, Wentz recorded 607 attempts. That was the second most in NFL history. Only Andrew Luck (627) had more.
It’s important to remember the Eagles never originally planned to give Wentz significant playing time last season. He was supposed to enter the year as the No. 3 quarterback behind starter Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, but that all changed when the Vikings made a desperate trade for Bradford.
So not only did the Eagles play Wentz much earlier than expected, but they also had him throwing passes at an historical rate. And apparently the workload, combined with his flawed mechanics, caused a soreness that probably didn’t aide his on-field performance.
The Eagles will have time to work with Wentz on his mechanics this offseason. But before that happens, Wentz will work with independent quarterback instructor Adam Dedeaux.
The 2017 offseason is a critical one for Wentz. Most NFL players take a big leap from Year 1 to Year 2. The Eagles will hope to improve Wentz’s mechanics this offseason. Not only so he plays better but also so he doesn’t develop more pain in his elbow.
It also wouldn’t hurt for the Eagles to invest in improving their run game. Being able to take pressure off Wentz by running the ball more often would be ideal.