Pederson Pumps the Brakes on Wentz
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Carson Wentz has been consistent in his belief that he will be ready for the 2018 season opener on Sept. 6 against Atlanta, a date just short on nine months from the day he tore both the ACL and LCL in his left knee.
Coincidentally nine months is the expected recovery time for a top-tier athlete after such an injury.
At the five-month mark, Eagles coach Doug Pederson adopted a more tempered narrative.
"I love the enthusiasm," Pederson said before the team's rookie camp opened on Friday morning when asked about Wentz's plan to be there for Week 1. "I want that from all our players, obviously,
"Go back to Sidney Jones [who suffered a torn Achilles at his pro day last year and missed all but one game of his rookie season] ... I'm not going to rush [Wentz] out there. I don't want to expose him."
Wentz is progressing nicely in his rehab, however, and the Eagles continue to post hype videos of the quarterback throwing the football during offseason work but Pederson pointed out the third-year star is not medically cleared and will not be for a significant period moving forward.
"He'll be ready when he's ready and when we feel he's ready," Pederson explained. "Right now, we're encouraged with the progress he's making. ... It's a fine line too, with this time of year, trying to do too much too soon. Our guys are on top of it, he's on top of it. He's managing it really well and again, encouraged where he's at."
ROOKIE CAMP NOTES:
-When asked for the names of a few players who arrived in impressive physical shape after the short offseason, Pederson mentioned Jay Ajayi, Nick Foles, Fletcher Cox and Malcolm Jenkins.
-Pederson offered no timetable on defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, who recently surgery for a herniated disc in his back. The coach also would not address how Jernigan hurt himself and the team has not begun considering what the plan will be if Jernigan is not back by the start of the regular season.
-Pederson did offer a bit of an update of some of the other injured players working their way back:
"You watch Chris Maragos and Darren Sproles and Jason Peters, and you watch these guys work and I'm hoping the rest of the team sees that and feeds off of that," the coach said. "For me as a coach, to have those guys not there at the end of the season, that's motivation. ... That's what I'm encouraged by and that can rub off on the team."
-The Eagles officially announced their 15-man undrafted free-agent class: RB Josh Adams (Notre Dame); LB Asantay Brown (Western Michigan); OL Aaron Evans (Central Florida); DE Danny Ezechukwu (Purdue); DT Bruce Hector (South Florida); WR Anthony Mahoungou (Purdue); S Ryan Neal (Southern Illinois); DE Joe Ostman (Central Michigan); OL Ian Park (Slippery Rock); S Jeremy Reaves (South Alabama);
S Stephen Roberts (Auburn); S Dominick Sanders (Georgia); CB Chandon Sullivan (Georgia State); CB Jordan Thomas (Oklahoma) and OL Toby Weathersby (LSU).
Adams, perhaps the most high-profile name on that list, is limited with a foot injury and was watching practice Friday.
-There were also 21 tryout players on hand: Rutgers QB Kyle Bolin; TCU QB Kenny Hill; South Carolina WR Matrick Belton; Troy QB Brandon Silvers; East Stroundburg WR Tim Wilson; Stony Brook WR Ray Bolden; Oklahoma S William Johnson; ODU CB Brandon Addison; Cal CB Marloshawn Franklin; Delaware Valley RB Devauntay Ellis; Florida State RB Ryan Green; Kentucky CB Kendall Randolph; Wingate RB Lawrence Pittman, Montana LB Mclane Bignell; Wake Forest LB Jaboree Williams; Oklahoma LS Wesley Horkey; Arizona State LB DJ Calhoun; Virginia Tech OL Eric Gallo; Kansas State DT Will Geary; Murray State WR Jordan Gandy; Lehigh TE Troy Pelletier, Northern Iowa DE Adam Reth and Arkansas State LB Kyle Wilson.
-The familiar faces taking part in the rookie camp were: P Cam Johnson, WR Rashard Davis, TE Adam Zaruba, OC Jon Toth, DT Winston Craig, OG Darrell Greene, TE Billy Brown and WR Greg Ward.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen