Eagles End Camp Where it Began with Uncertainty Surrounding Carson Wentz
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It was always going to be close when it came to Carson Wentz being on the field when the Eagles open their 2018 season against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept.6.
And after 15 training camp practices, nothing has really changed.
After taking part in some team work early in camp Wentz was ultimately scaled back to individual work and some controlled 7-on-7 action after a scrum around his legs gave the organization pause.
It was always a long shot that Wentz would see any work in the preseason and that remains the case as Philadelphia prepares to travel to Foxborough on Thursday for a Super Bowl rematch with the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
When practices resumes after the second preseason game Wentz is hopeful he will be back in team drills just days after the eight-month anniversary of his ACL and LCL surgery, which took place on Dec. 13 of last year.
"I think right now the plan is hopefully next week we can progress back into 11-on-11 and everything," Wentz said. "That is the plan going forward and it will just be constant communication with coaches and doctors as we progress."
Doug Pederson wasn't quite that emphatic, however.
"We will sit down after this game and get together with our medical team and we'll discuss the next step in [Wentz's] progression," the coach said. "I am excited to see where he is at health-wise."
The positive part is that Wentz was on the field for all 15 practices of the camp and really had no ebbs and flows when it comes to things like swelling or pain.
"It's obviously a very positive sign just seeing that I have been able to be out here for every practice and it's responded well each day," Wentz said. "Obviously I'm not getting the reps that I'd like because of where we're at but the positive is how [the knee] has responded. And it's not just practice, it's things we're doing in the weight room, things we're doing in the training room."
Wentz had created a bit of a stir before practice Tuesday when appearing on a Philadelphia-area radio station and saying it would be "close" as to whether or not he would play against the Falcons.
He clarified, however, that narrative is nothing new.
"That is what I felt all offseason, like we have talked about a ton," Wentz said. "That has been my goal. I think there has been really no secret that it is going to be close. Seeing where I am at in camp. Finally, hopefully next week doing 11-on-11. I think naturally it is going to be close."
Pederson, meanwhile, has spent his spring and summer avoiding timetables like the plague but sort of outlined one for his star QB.
"You know me I don't get into hypotheticals," the coach claimed before offering up something at least somewhat concrete, "I think that you would want at least a full week of preparation."
As Chip Kelly might say, write that in pencil.
"You would love to have more," Pederson said. "Those are things we'll evaluate this weekend."
DAY 15 NEWS AND NOTES
-Rookie Avonte Maddox got the first-team nickel reps for the third consecutive practice. Meanwhile, starting CB Jalen Mills left practice early although I was able to see him walking off and it didn’t look like anything too serious. Sidney Jones took his reps with the first-team.
-Caught up with Matt Jones after practice and he confirmed the injury he was dealing with was a hip pointer suffered in one of the live periods earlier in camp. He should have a big opportunity against the Patriots with Corey Clement (ankle) and Donnel Pumphrey (lower-body injury) down with injuries.
-Receiver Nelson Agholor has missed several days of practice and confirmed he's dealing with a lower-body injury but didn't get into specifics. Pederson said the goal was Week 1 for Agholor so the Eagles are being very cautious..
-Nick Foles says he hasn’t talked to Tom Brady since the Super Bowl but still doesn't understand why people think that's a big deal Foles said he looks up to Brady and called him "a great guy."
-After Ian Rapoport's rundown of PUP rules yesterday Alshon Jeffery ramped things up a bit by running routes and catching some balls on a separate field.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen