Eagles

Carson Wentz's surgeon on Eagles' decision: 'What's a few games over 12 to 15 years?'

Carson Wentz's surgeon on Eagles' decision: 'What's a few games over 12 to 15 years?'

Dr. James Bradley, the doctor who performed knee surgery on Carson Wentz eight months and three weeks ago, believes “common sense should take over the day” in deciding whether the Eagles' quarterback be cleared for contact and play in Thursday's season opener.

“It should be a cautious approach," Bradley said Friday in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "What’s a few games over 12 to 15 years?”

Bradley said Wentz's injury was “much more” than a torn ACL and the longer you wait, the lesser chance of a re-rupture. Bradley believes Wentz needs to be “tournament-tested tough,” having many repetitions of avoiding pass rushers so everything slows down again for him. He said the “ligaments, tendons and muscles need to learn to work again like a symphony.”

Head coach Doug Pederson said the team and its doctors would make an internal decision Friday on Wentz's status for the season opener. Wentz has participated in full-team drills over the past couple of weeks and has split first-team reps with Nick Foles.

Bradley said Wentz is “definitely ahead” of where he should be and has met every milestone. He said you couldn’t have asked for anything more from Wentz, calling the quarterback a humble warrior, great person and that Philly is lucky to have him.

In the beginning of the rehab process, Bradley said Wentz pushed the “pedal to the metal,” but then learned through working closely with Eagles trainer Joe O’Pella to hold back sometimes. He said the Eagles' organization has been fantastic throughout Wentz's entire recovery.

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Andre Dillard's switch from left tackle to right tackle is like trying to write left-handed

Andre Dillard's switch from left tackle to right tackle is like trying to write left-handed

How challenging is it for Andre Dillard to move from left tackle to right?

"Think about it like this," Dillard said. "You probably write with your right hand, right? So all of a sudden, say you had to write a big essay with your left hand. Right now. That's basically it. Write with your left hand. Think about how that would feel."

Dillard, a left tackle since he was 14, will make his first lifetime start at right tackle on Sunday when the Eagles face the Seahawks at the Linc.

Dillard said he's never played right tackle in a game on any level.

"Your brain kind of acts like a muscle in this case," he said. "You do one thing one way for 10 years, like I have, then everything about you is geared toward that. You flip it, your brain's like, 'Oh heck.' But this week's been a good week of preparation."

Dillard replaced injured left tackle Jason Peters in the second quarter of the Vikings game and stayed there through the Bills game, making his first three career starts and playing at a high level. Peters returned for the Patriots, but when right tackle Lane Johnson got hurt in the second quarter, it was Halapoulivaati Vaitai that entered the game at right tackle.

That didn't go so well. The Eagles, up 10-0, didn't score another point.

So Dillard spent this past week practicing at right tackle, and unless Johnson is somehow cleared through concussion protocol before Sunday, the rookie first-round pick will make his first career start on the right side against the Seahawks.

"Anytime you go from left to right side, it's a lot harder than people think," right guard Brandon Brooks said. "Not only are you flipping all the plays completely opposite but the muscle memory, your stance, everything's completely different. I have nothing but faith in Andre Dillard. Everything he's done, busting his ass out there, all the reps, all the extra time I've seen him after practice and stuff? It's different obviously. You don't replace Lane Johnson. He's a one-of-a-kind talent, a one-of-a-kind player. But at the same time, Dillard has more than enough talent. He's more than capable of handling his own out there."

The Eagles went with Vaitai to finish the Patriots game since Dillard hadn't taken any right tackle reps other than "a couple" in training camp and has never played the position.

"In the heat of the game I think Stout (offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland) for sure felt that Big V had more work on the right side," Jason Kelce said. "Andre, he's a tackle by trade and there's a little bit of a difference and a little bit of balance and body control that you have to get used to going on the right side, but he'll be able to get it done. He's a really athletic kid."

Now Dillard has had a full week of work on the right side, and he said the process of transitioning to a new position will continue up until game time as he watches film, works on his technique and talks to his teammates and coaches.

But so far?

"Smooth as can be," he said after practice Friday. "It's obviously going to be a challenge, but I'm up for it. I'm perfectly capable."

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Eagles vs. Seahawks 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

Eagles vs. Seahawks 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

The Eagles (5-5) are hosting the Seahawks (8-2) at the Linc on Sunday.

Here’s everything you need to know:

12 p.m.: Eagles Pregame Live on NBCSP
1 p.m.: Eagles vs. Seahawks on FOX
4 p.m.: Eagles Postgame Live on NBCSP
6:30 p.m.: Birds Outsiders on NBCSP

The FOX broadcast crew for this game is Kevin Burkhardt (play by play), Charles Davis (analyst) and Pam Oliver (sideline).

Merrill Reese, Mike Quick and Howard Eskin will have the call on 94WIP.

The Eagles opened up as 2.5-point home favorites against the Seahawks.

The referee for this game is Walt Anderson. Anderson has been the ref for two Eagles games in the Doug Pederson Era: A win over the Giants in November 2018 and the first game under Pederson in 2016, which was a win over Cleveland. Oddly enough, the Eagles had seven penalties for 46 yards in each of those games.

You’ll get to sleep early

This game was initially scheduled to be an 8:20 p.m. start, but the Packers-49ers game was flexed into that spot, so the Eagles and Seahawks got bumped to 1 p.m. That’s good news for anyone who values their sleep going into a new work week, but bad news for out-of-town fans who were relying on a national broadcast.

Russell Wilson is a problem

Wilson was already a Hall of Fame quarterback before this year, but now he’s having the best season of his career. Lamar Jackson is probably the front-runner to be the league’s MVP, but Wilson is right in the mix.

In three career games against the Eagles, Wilson is 3-0 and the Seahawks have outscored the Eagles 74-39 in those games. Wilson has thrown six touchdowns with no interceptions in those three wins.

Things get easier from here

After this game, the Eagles’ schedule gets much easier. Coming off their bye week against the Patriots and Seahawks was a tough task. But check out the rest of their schedule after this:

Week 13: at Miami (2-8)
Week 14: vs. New York Giants (2-8)
Week 15: at Washington (1-9)
Week 16: vs. Dallas (6-4)
Week 17: at New York Giants (2-8)

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