It’s tough for any player to get his body ready to play an NFL football game on four days of rest.
And most players aren’t coming off of the type of beating Carson Wentz took on Sunday.
Wentz played well and really tough in the Eagles’ 30-28 loss to the Ravens but, man, did he take a beating. Playing behind an offensive line that’s duct-taped together, Wentz was sacked six times and was hit an astounding 16 times by a violent and aggressive Ravens defense.
So how was Wentz feeling just a couple days later?
“I mean, it’s still Tuesday,” he said before the day’s walkthrough. “At the end of the day, it’s still Tuesday. We just played. Quick turnaround.
“Trying to convince my body that it’s Friday. I think that’s the challenge for everybody on these short weeks. You play a lot of snaps in a game and you have to turn around on Thursday night. It can be a challenge. But that’s a big point of emphasis, is finding a way to maximize your recovery to get back out there on Thursday. And for me, I’m doing fine. I’ll be just fine come Thursday night, I’ll take care of myself and we’ll be fine.”
The Eagles finished Sunday’s game with just two healthy starters on offense — Wentz and Jason Kelce — and Doug Pederson made sure after the game to point that even those two were banged up.
On Thursday night against the Giants, the Eagles are going to play without several key players on offense, so they’re going to need a healthy Wentz out there.
“You always got bumps and bruises from games,” Wentz said. “I think you notice them a little bit more on a Thursday night game, knowing you’ve got a quick turnaround. I feel good. I’m fortunate I’m still playing, I’m still feeing great. It’s a quick turnaround. I got no excuses. I’ll be just fine when I get out there.”
Wentz said that the recovery process changes slightly in a short week. And he said that process begins as soon as they leave the field on Sunday evening. Players, including himself, are already beginning to stretch and go through recovery exercises in the locker room and at home later that night.
“Guys have done a good job of that and we’ll be fine for Thursday night,” Wentz said.
If history repeats, the Eagles will be fine on Thursday night. In fact, the Eagles are 5-0 on Thursday Night Football under Doug Pederson. That might not be a coincidence.
Wentz missed the 2018 season opener on a Thursday against Atlanta but has been very good in the four other TNF games, which all came on short rest.
Wentz is 4-0 on Thursdays in his career. He has completed 71 of 117 pass attempts (60.9%) for 812 yards, 10 touchdowns, 1 INT and has a 106.5 passer rating.
“I think guys just enjoy the opportunity on national television, under the lights, all that,” Wentz said. “That’s always fun and gets you kind of excited a little bit extra. But we just play fast. We don’t overcomplicate things or do anything crazy. And the same thing with defenses, they don’t usually have a lot of new stuff so you can just watch the tape and go play and let your guys make plays and play fast. I think we’ve done a good job of that over the years and hopefully we can continue that streak.”