Wentz Could Return This Week
TAMPA, Fla - Multiple reports indicate Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz could make his season debut Sunday at home against the Indianapolis Colts. Wentz has yet to be cleared medically, but the optimism is growing that he will return to the field.
When asked if Wentz will be back next week, Head Coach Doug Pederson replied, "I'll talk about that later this week." He later added, "I'll talk more about that tomorrow (Monday) probably."
While Pederson is going to wait until later today to discuss Wentz, he was clearly mentioned by his teammates in the locker room following the 27-21 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.
"If the sheriff's back in town, it's cool with me," Right Tackle Lane Johnson said. "Carson's our guy."
"I can't wait to get him back whenever that is," Tight End Zach Ertz stated. "At the same time we can't expect him to be Superman either. This is going to be his first NFL game in nine months and first live bullets in nine months. We have a lot of talent on offense to where he shouldn't feel like he has to come in and solve all of our problems."
If Wentz is back it would send Nick Foles back to the bench. He has done about as well as you could ask out of a backup. Foles went 6-2 as a starter in Wentz' absence winning three playoff games and earning Super Bowl MVP honors. Foles has said all along that this is Carson Wentz' team. That said, it cannot be easy to go from that to backup once again.
"Whatever the organization asks for me, I'm going to do," Foles said. "Stepping into the huddle and playing the game is something that I love. It's a crazy sport but at the end of the day I'm going to focus on cleaning up this Tampa Bay game."
One of Foles' biggest keys to success in the past eight games has been his ability to put blinders on and not pay attention to anything but the present. He continues to fall back on that mentality even with Wentz close to returning.
"I'm really not focused on that right now," Foles explained. "That was a physical game. We gave everything we had. I'm going to focus on that, live in the moment. I'm grateful, I'm blessed to have played this game for as long as I have."
Wentz has looked good on his surgically repaired knee during the brief portion of practice open to the media. He has also appeared to be moving around very well on that knee during pregame warmups.
"He has looked great," Ertz said when asked about Wentz' performance in practice. "Same Carson, same guy that was lighting the league on fire last year. If and when he comes back, we are going to be really excited for him."
Wentz started 13 games last season passing for 3,296 yards with 33 touchdowns while throwing just seven interceptions.
He has multiple hurdles to clear before his return is confirmed. Wentz must be medically cleared. He also must be deemed ready to return by his Head Coach. It appears to be very telling that Pederson did not shoot down the reports that Wentz could return on Sunday when he was asked about it after the loss. He will likely clear up some of that uncertainty at his press conference Monday afternoon.