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Carson Wentz felt good back in Eagles team drills, but it’s “still gonna be close” for Week 1

Plus, Mike Groh talks play-calling strategy and gives Jordan Mailata update.

The Eagles are just a couple days away from their Week 3 preseason game against the Browns, and while this is a good opportunity for some of the starters to get back onto the field, there are still quite a few team veterans who will stay on the sideline.

Before Monday’s practice got underway, quarterback Carson Wentz and offensive coordinator Mike Groh spoke to the media, giving injury updates and looking at the game ahead.

Here’s what they had to say:

Carson Wentz

  • The quarterback said he, and the rest of the QB room, felt and looked good during Sunday’s practice, especially as he got back into the team portions of practice.
  • Not being out there for all the team reps was “obviously frustrating”, but Wentz admits he always wants to be a full participant, but they’ve got to be smart in certain situations. He re-emphasized the importance of maintaining a controlled environment with his return to team drills.
  • Wentz was asked if it were his decision, if he would be back in full go-mode, but he quipped that it’s still up to the doctors. If it were up to him, he would’ve played in the Super Bowl, but he wasn’t physically capable of getting in there.
  • The QB said he feels good, but ultimately it will be the doctors decision about when he’s cleared for contact. Wentz noted that not much has changed in their plans since last week, and whether he’s back in Week 1 will be close. The final hurdle is completely out of his hands, and when he’ll be cleared for contact will be up to the doctors.
  • He isn’t concerned about the mental aspect about coming back from a big injury, and wasn’t thinking about his knee when he was taking snaps during team drills on Sunday. Wentz acknowledged that for him personally, he doesn’t think there will be a mental barrier keeping him from going 100% once he’s fully cleared.
  • Just in case it wasn’t obvious, Wentz confirmed he won’t be playing against Cleveland.

Mike Groh

On Carson Wentz’s return

  • The offensive coordinator talked about having Carson Wentz back in the huddle on Sunday, and that his return is still going according to plan, but that the coaches and medical staff are all on the same page when it comes to his return.
  • Groh also noted that it was good to have Nick Foles still healthy given the shoulder scare on Thursday. He mentioned that “particularly in light of Thursday night” that it was good for Foles to be able to share in the first-team responsibilities with Wentz throughout this week’s practice. As Doug Pederson mentioned on Sunday, the plan is for the two quarterback to share reps 50/50 for the time being.
  • Once Wentz is fully cleared though, Groh doesn’t anticipate having to make any adjustments to their play calling. He doesn’t plan on making special accommodations or restrictions to ease Wentz back into the action, saying “once you’re cleared, you’re cleared” and that should be all they need to ramp up his workload.
  • Groh also noted that Wentz’s return to team drills provided the offense with a little boost, and said it was nice for everyone on the team to see him back out there. The OC mentioned it was good to see him throwing in the rain as well — something they haven’t gotten a lot of practice playing in so far this training camp.

On specific players

  • The OC talked about Big V, and his disappointing performance in Week 2’s preseason game. He did point out that he got reps with the first and second team though, giving Big V some much-needed additional reps.
  • Groh also talked about Shelton Gibson making some big plays for the team over the first two preseason games, and that it’s giving the wide receiver some confidence heading toward the regular season. Groh and the coaches are pleased with Gibson’s progress, and the WR has been diligent at staying at the top of his game.
  • Rookie Jordan Mailata has now played two football games in his entire career, but Groh said the newbie has done everything they’ve asked him to do, and he’s doing a really good job. Not only has his technique improved, but he’s really giving it one hell of an effort to learn the ins and outs of his new sport.

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