As Philadelphia Eagles players are set to report to the NovaCare Complex for the start of training camp today, we have an update on the recovery progress of franchise quarterback Carson Wentz. The following comes from NFL insider Ian Rapoport:
The Eagles report and have their physicals today, including rehabbing QB Carson Wentz. The most likely, cautious scenario is that Wentz lands on the PUP list, sources say, though he could come off at any time. It would not be an indication that he’ll start the season on PUP. Putting QB Carson Wentz on PUP is one strong option for the Eagles. The other is to have him practice on a limited basis so he can remain out on the field with his teammates. Either way, rehab is going well… it just doesn’t make sense to have him practice fully yet.
Putting Wentz on the offseason PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) allows the Eagles to eventually place him on the regular season PUP list, if necessary. It doesn’t sound like his recovery is trending that way; there’s much more optimism he’ll be ready early in the season than there is worry he’ll miss the first six games. Still, putting him on PUP to start camp gives the Eagles the ability to store him away and not take up a 53-man roster spot just in case there is a setback. (Knock on wood.)
As Rapoport notes, Wentz can be taken off the offseason PUP list at any point before the regular season. Last year, the Eagles put Beau Allen and Sidney Jones on the NFI list (Non Football Injury - which is very similar to the PUP) before camp. Allen was eventually taken off before the season began. Jones, meanwhile, began the 2017 campaign on NFI and wasn’t activated until late in the season since he was coming off a serious injury.
For as long as Wentz is on the offseason PUP list, he won’t be able to participate in training camp practice. This would be a deviation from OTAs and minicamps where he was participating on a limited basis. He was doing as much as 7-on-7 drills but he didn’t get as far as 11-on-11 drills where he’d have more bodies around his recovering knee.
All signs regarding Wentz’s recovery status have been very positive. We’ve heard the third-year quarterback is “shockingly ahead of schedule.” There’s been optimism that he has a chance to play in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons. We’ll see if that’s the case.
The Eagles’ potential decision to put Wentz on PUP shows they are not rushing him back by any means. There is no need to do that, anyway, especially when Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is still on the roster.
At the same time, there is no reason to NOT play Wentz if he reaches a point where he’s recovered and there’s no further risk of a setback. If he’s ready to go, he should play. You don’t just sit Wentz for a few weeks (as I’ve seen suggested) if he’s ready and the missed time isn’t going to make much of a difference in terms of his recovery.
Perhaps it’ll be a short stint for Wentz on the offseason PUP list. We’ll see. For now, no matter whether Wentz is placed on PUP or not, it looks like he’s still not ready for full team drills. This means Foles will continue to work with the starters in practice while Nate Sudfeld will be with the second team.
Stay tuned to BGN to see if the Eagles officially place Wentz on PUP or not. Note that Wentz will still count towards the Eagles’ 90-man roster limit if he does end up on the offseason PUP list.
UPDATE: Les Bowen of the Daily News is hearing Wentz may not end up on offseason PUP after all.
After checking in a couple places, I am even more skeptical of the report that Carson Wentz could open camp on PUP. Sure, that’s an option you don’t close off until you have to. But Wentz wants to be on the field, in drills, though he’ll be limited early. That remains most likely— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) July 25, 2018