There Was no Ceremony but Carson Wentz Sits Alone as QB1
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It wasn't a seismic shift or anything but if you're adept at reading tea leaves, Carson Wentz's weekly meeting with the media meant a little bit more on Monday.
The rehabbing quarterback returned to team drills a day earlier for the first time since July 28 and he took to the microphone in the NovaCare Complex's auditorium without Nick Foles speaking before or after.
In other words, there was no ceremony but the Eagles' one-and-only QB1 stepped to the podium.
“I felt good,” Wentz said of his practice on Sunday. “Knee was feeling good. It was a good day.”
There were no overt changes to the timetable for when Wentz will be cleared for contact from his ACL and LCL surgery back on Dec. 13 of last year and the third-year player is still talking about the Sept. 6 opener against Atlanta as a "close" call but you can sense the confidence growing.
“I feel good,” Wentz said. “Like I said, I think you guys see me out there. I have really no hesitation in the pocket when guys are around me. I feel really good but it’s going to come down to if they feel confident in contact and when that is. I can’t say yet.”
That's because Wentz's ultimate status will be decided by the team medical staff but those believing the Eagles should take a more cautious approach have misunderstood the situation.
"If he's cleared he's cleared," offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. "It's not like, 'You're cleared, but..."
Wentz started training camp seemingly well ahead of schedule but was scaled back after a scrum around his legs during that July 28 practice gave the Eagles pause and the realization that they needed a more "controlled environment" around the young QB.
That controlled environment is obviously loosening, however, as the Eagles had no problem putting Wentz on a rain-soaked field Sunday.
"We're past that," Wentz said of worrying about a wet field. "We just went out there and a little moisture never hurt anybody. We're good, we're full speed with that."
Wentz still doesn't know when the all clear will sound from the doctors so he is just focused on controlling what he can control.
“I want to be out there every day. I want to be a full participant in every single thing," Wentz admitted. "But that wasn’t totally my call and you just have to be smart in those situations. It was tough, but yeah, getting [back] out there in the full-team drills, I definitely enjoyed it.”
And now with the finish line to a “grueling process” near, Wentz even took some time to reflect.
“Just from a rehab standpoint, when you’re in the building almost every day of the week, all offseason, you really don’t get any break,” Wentz said. “And then just the physical limitations early on and overcoming that step by step, it’s been a grueling process but I’m thankful for the progress that I have made.”
MONDAY PRACTICE NEWS AND NOTES:
-Brandon Graham was revolved from the PUP list and practiced for the first time this offseason.
"It is great to have him back," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. "We haven't really missed him. He's been in all our meetings. He's been around quite a bit, and obviously he's a guy that has done a lot for our defense."
-Injured receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor were working on a side field today. Jeffery remains on the PUP list but is obviously getting close.
-Others absent from practice in the portion open to the media included running backs Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Donnel Pumphrey and Josh Adams, receivers Markus Wheaton and Bryce Treggs, and tight ends Richard Rodgers and Joshua Perkins.
-Schwartz admitted Thursday's dress-rehearsal game at Cleveland will go a long way in determining the starters at nickel back and weak-side linebacker.
"I think the competition is good," the DC said. "This game [against Cleveland] will go a long way to deciding who is going to be out there in the opener."
-A group of about 30 Eagles' alumni attended today's practice at the invitation of Doug Pederson. Among those observed were Trent Cole, Jamaal Jackson, Sean Landeta and Vai Sikahema.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen