Updated 11:55 a.m.
For the last several months, most of us have assumed that when Carson Wentz is cleared to play, he’ll play.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Wentz could be cleared for contact this week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll play in Week 3.
#Eagles QB Carson Wentz (ACL, LCL) could be cleared for contact this week, sources say. A good sign. But that’s far from the end of the story. Philly will exercise extreme caution. My report: https://t.co/DDynCmCbUV— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2018
“The team is not in a rush for Wentz to play and there are several key, influential voices who have been preaching caution — including owner Jeffrey Lurie.”
Lurie has long been a supporter of Nick Foles and his hesitation to bring back Wentz for fear of re-injury does make a little sense.
But while Foles is a good backup quarterback, there’s a big difference between him and Wentz. To me, when Wentz is ready to play, he should absolutely play. I understand that the further away from injury he gets, the better his chances of staying healthy are, but he’s going to have to play eventually. The Eagles aren’t going to hold him out this entire season. And if the doctors say he’s good to go and he says he’s good to go, why wait?
I guess the Eagles are thinking they might have to protect Wentz from himself. They are clearly thinking about the future of the franchise, not a Week 3 game against the Colts.
However, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Wentz is on track to return vs. the Colts.
Eagles’ QB Carson Wentz still needs final medical clearance, but he is on track to return next Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, per league sources. https://t.co/MW3OGXuo97— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 16, 2018
In the last two weeks, Wentz has been practicing in a limited fashion (taking scout team reps), while Foles gets the full complement of reps with the first-team offense. Back in late training camp, the two split those first-team reps.
The report from NFL Network says that Wentz “will be fighting for the chance to play,” which shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows anything about the Eagles’ young franchise quarterback. He originally set a goal of Week 1 for his return but has already missed the first two weeks.
It’s now been over nine months since Wentz tore his ACL and LCL and had surgery to repair both.
Before the start of the regular season, Dr. James Bradley, Wentz’s surgeon, preached caution to NBC Sports Philadelphia (see story). While Bradley isn’t making the decisions, the Eagles’ doctors do confer with him.
It has been impressive to watch Wentz attack his rehab this offseason. Even in training camp and warming up before games, he’s looked very impressive, which makes me think he’ll be just fine when he gets the go-ahead to return to action.