Nutrition and the Knee Brace: A New Carson Wentz
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Any hand-wringing proved to be just that when it came to Carson Wentz and the start of Eagles' on-field OTAs.
The franchise quarterback in line for a monster extension sooner rather than later was a full-go at Tuesday's practice, taking every rep with the first team during both 7-on-7 and team drills.
“I feel great," the fourth-year signal caller said. "As you guys saw today, there’s no limitations out there. “I’m out there doing team drills, doing all that stuff, which seemed like it was awhile [ago] for me. I feel really good going forward, and I’m obviously cleared and ready to roll.”
More so, Wentz actually ditched the brace on his left knee, an unwanted extra piece of equipment dating back to his torn ACL and LCL from December of 2017.
“Ultimately, it was my decision,” Wentz said of nixing the brace. “But, talking through it with everybody, we just felt it was best going forward. Knee felt good, feels strong, and I feel better without it.”
As for the stress fracture in his back that cut short his 2018 season, Wentz and coach Doug Pederson were a little murkier, although if there is any concern it hasn't manifested itself in any further limitations.
Wentz is mindful of the fact he hasn't finished the past two seasons, however, and has gone about “transforming” his body with a newfound dedication to fitness.
"Just trying to transform my body a little bit this offseason," he said. "I've seen a lot of development there for me personally. I think that will help going forward with just staying healthy and longevity. Just looking at nutrition and different training techniques and really diving into any training aspect, any advantage I can find.
"I went into this offseason with just [two goals], getting healthy and what it can look like to stay healthy."
Flexibility and durability are the goals not necessarily adding strength, something Wentz at least intimated is a branch off Tom Brady and his "TB12" method.
"Obviously, a guy like Tom (Brady) and you see other athletes, they have their method," Wentz explained. "They find what works for them and nutrition, diet and sleep are a big part of it. That’s something I’ve really been looking at this offseason.”
While spring workouts are never paramount to proven veterans they are a little more important for Wentz, who was a limited participant last year as he rehabbed his knee, a process which distanced himself from his teammates at times.
“I’ve learned a lot through these processes to not be my own worst enemy, listen to advice throughout the way,” Wentz said. “I feel good with where I’m at.”
And where he's at is on the field leading an offense that has added a host of playmakers including receivers DeSean Jackson and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside as well as running backs Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders, who missed practice Tuesday with an undisclosed injury.
“I love any time we can get on the field,” Wentz said. “Start building that chemistry, start talking through things with guys so they see it how I see it, and vice versa. Anytime we can get out there, I love it. Missing some of that time last year was a bummer. I wouldn’t say it’s the ‘end all, be all,’ but it definitely is helpful – especially this year, with a couple new faces in there. I think you’ll see dividends come the fall.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen