Eagles TC Day 6: Wentz Limited Again
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The goal hasn't changed but the circumstances have.
After wowing people on Saturday in team drills, Carson Wentz has been scaled back since with Wednesday serving as the third consecutive practice session in which the rehabbing quarterback was held out of team work and allowed only to participate in individual drills and some 7-on-7 action.
"I don't need to see him in 11-on-11," Eagles coach Doug Pederson insisted after practice. "He's progressing really well and I don't want to subject him to kind of a setback or something like that. I want to keep him progressing and keep him moving forward and those couple of days we had with him [in team drills] were very exciting."
Pederson again would not confirm the future of "the plan," which is designed to get Wentz to Week 1 as the starter against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 6, a date just short of nine months from the time the star QB tore his ACL and LCL against the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 10 of last year.
"The plan is a collaborative effort between the player, myself and the medical staff," Pederson said. "It's always going to be that way. I've been on record since the summer that I'm going to trust my medical team. ... when the time comes we will put him back out there."
The missing ingredient is being cleared for contact and perhaps a scrum around Wentz's legs during the Saturday session got the Eagles' thinking. Pederson denied that but Wentz admitted that the team wants him only in more controlled environments.
"My understanding is that the coaches and trainers want to stay in a more controlled environment," Wentz admitted.
What there hasn't been is a setback, something Wentz noted by pointing out he hasn't missed a practice session to date.
"A lot of it is on how I feel, how I respond," the QB said. "Throughout the whole offseason, you work four, five days a week and then a few days off. Now you don't get the same break. That's why you'll see guys take days off. I feel great, I haven't missed a day yet so it's just part of the plan. Every day you wake up, you're going have to evaluate. Do I scale back? Should I do some more?"
Wentz also insisted that he would like to be in team drills.
"I felt good when I did do it," he said. "I wanna be out there but again I just have to trust their plan with it. That's really the bottom line."
The scale back on Wentz will continue into Thursday because Pederson confirmed there will be live goal-line periods.
"Listen, I’m very encouraged obviously [with] where he’s at, and what I saw last week is enough to ease my mind,” the coach said.
DAY 6 NEWS AND NOTES:
-Both receiver Shelton Gibson and running back Matt Jones were sidelined Wednesday after leaving practice early on Tuesday. Jones has a lower-body injury according to Pederson while Gibson is in the concussion protocol. Cornerback D.J. Killings returned to practice after missing two sessions while tight end Joshua Perkins went into the medical tent for a short period early in the practice but returned and took part.
-Receiver Bryce Treggs, who has been on the NFI list with knee soreness, is expected to be activated for Thursday's practice.
-The team was in shells on Wednesday and probably had its sloppiest practice to date, one which featured a lot of red-zone work. One of the bright spots, however, was rookie tight end Dallas Goedert, who showed off how difficult he can be to defend because of his length and catching radius. Highlights included a one-handed snatch grab of a less-than-accurate Nick Foles throw and boxing out the smaller Ronald Darby in the end zone for a TD.
-With Matt Jones out undrafted rookie Josh Adams flashed a bit. The former Notre Dame star missed spring work with a foot injury and finally got to unveil the punishing running style that had him in the Heisman Trophy mix at one point in South Bend. On one play the 225-pound Adams bulldozed through 290-pound defensive tackle Winston Craig.
-The first-team nickel back was De'Vante Bausby so the scorecard there is now 3-3 with he and Sidney Jones alternating. Jones handled backup duties of the left side as Bausby does when he's not in the nickel.
-Both Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata got a few first-team reps for the first time although Chris Long and Destiny Vaeao continued to take the vast majority of the reps.
-The Will LB slot is turning out to be an interesting battle with Nate Gerry, Corey Nelson and Kamu Grugier-Hill all getting looks there throughout the camp.
-Donnel Pumphrey continued to show some life by juking Joe Walker out of his shoes at one point. Walker, however, got Pump back when he diagnosed a screen and blew it up.
-Some of the sloppiness included Nate Sudfeld and Wendell Smallwood failing to execute a simple handoff and the daily-airmail snap from Isaac Seumalo, something that was contagious today as Ian Park also had a poor snap.
-Jake Elliott was a perfect 7-of-7 on field goals, including three during team drills, one a 47- to 50-yarder.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen