It’s been a long time since Carson Wentz was on the field for the Eagles, and he’ll get his first chance to see how far his knee has come on Sunday against the Colts. The quarterback has been looking forward to being cleared for months, and now that he’s been given the green light, he’s full go this week getting ready.
Unfortunately, Wentz will be missing several offensive weapons during his return, with the wide receiver and running back groups taking a beating over the past couple weeks. From multiple players heading to IR to bringing back Jordan Matthews, the quarterback has a lot of work ahead of him to ready for Sunday.
Here’s what Wentz had to say about getting ready for his return — mentally and physically — and how he’s building rapport with a thinning group of targets.
On his knee and recovery
He opened his press conference talking about how he’s going to temper his excitement and nerves heading into his first game back, but he said that he’s going to approach it the same way he did back in college and during his first NFL game.
Wentz expects to be a little fired up, but after that first snap, it’ll be back to football, which is where he feels comfortable.
He talked about being excited to finally get the news that he had been cleared, he had been waiting a long time to get the official word — just like everyone else. He noted that he was excited and a little anxious about when he would finally be cleared.
The quarterback also talked about being frustrated that he wasn’t ready to go in Week 1, not frustrated at anybody specifically, just in the situation overall. He said anytime you miss a game it’s not enjoyable, but he knew the medical staff and trainers had his best interest in mind.
He was asked if he thought he could have played in Week 1, the QB said he felt good and didn’t feel much different than he does now. But ultimately, he had to listen to the team around him who knew more about when he should be back on the field.
Wentz also said “I feel comfortable with it” in terms of wearing and working with the brace. He said he’ll decide at the end of the season whether or not that’ll be something he wears longterm.
He was then asked what would make Sunday’s return a success for him, and Wentz quipped, “to win”. He noted that he’s excited to be playing in front of his home crowd, and is just hoping to get to 1-0 as the QB.
He was also asked whether the injury was more difficult for him mentally or physically. Wentz answered honestly, with “without a doubt, both”. He noted that physically it’s just a grind every single day, from early morning workouts to having to be in the facility every day. Mentally, he pointed out that it gets taxing because of the duration, and that nine months was a long time to rehab.
Wentz also said there wasn’t that much time to celebrate, they had to get to work right away.
He also said he isn’t anxious about the first hit on Sunday, and said that the first hit of any season is a bit of a wakeup call, whether it’s in the preseason or now.
On what he wants to improve
He pointed out some of the areas the team excelled in last season, playing situational football and third-down efficiency, and hopes to keep those things going.
Wentz did talk about working on some of his mechanics and getting his upper body stronger during the offseason. He also had plenty of time to watch film and find things big and small to work on and improve.
On the wide receiver situation
Wentz talked about the return of his good friend Jordan Matthews, and said the wide receiver is already picking things up pretty quickly. He said he feels comfortable with the receiver, just as he does with the rest of the roster, and is looking forward to seeing how things pan out later in the week.