When Doug Pederson announced on Dec. 14 that Carson Wentz had a stress fracture in his back, he said the full recovery time was expected to be around three months.
That was four months ago.
On Monday afternoon, as the Eagles began their offseason program, Wentz said the bone in his back has not yet full healed.
“It’s still getting there,” Wentz said. “Some of the stuff just takes time. That’s not really the main concern, it’s just kind of how I feel and I feel really good with where I’m at.”
That’s not enough to push the panic button, but the fact that it will take Wentz well over the original estimated amount of time to heal fully from this back injury, is certainly worth noting.
But the Eagles still have time.
Wentz, 26, said his goal is still to be ready for the beginning of OTAs, which kick off for the Eagles on May 21. That will be at least five months removed from the injury and possibly even more. If Wentz isn’t on the field at the start of those practices, maybe then it’s time to start getting even more concerned. The Eagles have a few rounds of OTAs before their mandatory minicamp in mid-June.
For now, Wentz said he is feeling good, but taking things “week by week.” He has been cleared to throw some and run, but wouldn’t get into too many specifics of his recovery.
Wentz’s stress fracture in his back — it “developed over time,” according to Pederson last December — ended his 2018 season early. It was the second straight year that Wentz finished the season on the shelf.
In 2017, he tore his ACL in December and missed the historic playoff run to Super Bowl LII. He missed both playoff games in 2017 too, as Nick Foles again led the Eagles into January.
Foles is gone this year as he signed a big-time free agent deal to join the Jaguars. That means the Eagles’ safety net is gone too and Wentz’s health is one of the most important elements to the team’s success. Nate Sudfeld is now the backup and while he’s a promising young player, he doesn’t have nearly the NFL experience Foles had.
The Eagles have publicly been open to the possibility of extending Wentz to a long-term contract this offseason, the first offseason they are allowed to. Wentz said it is nice to hear their interest in signing him long-term, but will let his agent deal with all that.
Wentz’s focus, for now, is getting healthy. Until he does, those questions about his durability aren’t going to disappear.
“I get it. I get it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to putting those behind me. I understand it’s a part of this league, it’s a physical league and things happen. Some of those things are out of my control and I look forward to putting that behind me.”
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