Philadelphia Eagles franchise quarterback Carson Wentz appeared on the 94WIP Morning Show before Tuesday’s training camp practice. You may be surprised that he was asked about the possibility of him playing in Week 1! Who would have guessed?
Here’s what Wentz had to say in an interview with Angelo Cataldi, via 94WIP.com:
“I obviously would love to be out there (Week 1). That’s been my goal all offseason, ever since the injury. It’s gonna be close. It’s gonna be close. I am still eyeing that date, but at the end of the day it is not just my decision. There’s coaches and doctors that really have the final say, but I really like where I am at and time will tell here.”
The “It’s gonna be close” line has caused some to believe it’s less likely that he starts the season now.
Not me. I think those people are reading into that too much.
I’ve said all along that I fully expect Wentz to start in Week 1. We’ve been hearing that it’s possible since all the way back in January. Since then, I’ve watched every practice that Wentz has participated in. He’s looked great. He does not look physically unready at all.
The main thing currently driving concern about Wentz’s status is that he hasn’t been fully participating in 11-on-11. He WAS participating in those for the first few days of camp but then the team backed him off after one practice where some linemen got very close to landing on his leg with the repaired ACL/LCL.
The Eagles have maintained that Wentz did NOT suffer a setback and that they’re merely being cautious with him. I believe that to be the case. He’s still practicing in 7-on-7 and other drills outside of 11-on-11.
Whenever the possibility of Wentz playing in Week 1 comes up, a number of people will say “Just play Nick Foles! Don’t rush Carson!”
Look. NO ONE is advocating for the Eagles to rush Wentz back on the field. And even if people were, it doesn’t matter, because we know the Eagles are smart enough not to rush him.
But just because Wentz plays in Week 1 doesn’t mean it’s a rush. If the doctors clear him and if he feels ready to suit up, he should absolutely play. What does sitting him accomplish at that point? He’s not going to be more prone to re-injury than he otherwise would be.
The reality is Wentz playing in Week 1 was always “gonna be close” based on the general recovery timeline for an ACL tear. That’s really not new information. But Wentz isn’t necessarily beholden to a somewhat arbitrary timeline. It’s entirely possible he’s going to be ready before some people expected him to be. And that’s not just wishful thinking. It’s rooted in all the positive progress we’ve seen him make throughout the offseason.
Wentz will almost certainly be asked about his comments to WIP once practice is over. Wentz (along with Doug Pederson and Nick Foles) is scheduled to have a press conference between 11:30 AM and 12:00 PM. Stay tuned to Bleeding Green Nation.
UPDATE: As I suspected, Wentz said his “It’s gonna be close” comment was not a new development. He said he’s always felt it was going to be that way.