Eagles Will Start Foles vs. Falcons
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles have named Nick Foles the starter for Thursday's season-opener against the Atlanta Falcons, according to the NFL Network.
The narrative to this end started to be laid out on Friday when the man who repaired Carson Wentz's ACL and LCL, Dr. James Bradley, used a typically team-friendly reporter to preach patience when it comes to the face of the franchise who is still less than nine months clear of his operation.
“It should be a cautious approach," Bradley told NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark in a phone interview on Friday. "What’s a few games over 12 to 15 years?”
Ian Rapoport used similar language when explaining Philadelphia's decision.
Bradley emphasized that Wentz's injury was far more than a torn ACL and claimed that the quarterback needs to be “tournament-tested tough” before returning.
“[The] ligaments, tendons and muscles need to learn to work again like a symphony,” Bradley asserted.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson originally said the team would make an internal decision by Friday on Wentz's status for the Falcons although hedged on that a bit after Thursday's preseason finale against the New York Jets.
Wentz has been ramping up activity since returning to full-team work over the past two weeks at practice, splitting first-team reps with Foles.
Bradley acknowledged Wentz is "ahead” of where he should be at this stage and has pushed the “pedal to the metal” in rehab with Eagles trainer Joe O’Pella having to hold him back on occasion.
It's extremely unlikely that Bradley would have spoken on the record without getting the go-ahead so this was clearly an effort to spin the decision in advance of moving forward with Foles early in the season.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen