Eagles ‘optimistic’ Carson Wentz will be ready for OTAs

AP Images

Eagles ‘optimistic’ Carson Wentz will be ready for OTAs

PHOENIX — Carson Wentz is still rehabbing from a stress fracture in his back that ended his 2018 season early, but head coach Doug Pederson is “optimistic” Wentz will be ready for OTAs this spring. 

The Eagles will begin their offseason program in mid-April, but OTAs won’t start until May. At the NFL’s annual meetings, Pederson declined to give a firm timetable for Wentz, but did say Wentz has been in the building a lot and is “in a great spot” mentally. 

Obviously, he’s still rehabbing and getting himself healthy and strong. Again, just like we’ve done in the past with him, we’re going to be patient and let him get strong and we’re not putting any timetable on him. When he’s ready, he’s ready. We’re optimistic that he’ll be ready to go for OTAs, but again, we’re not going to push it and force anything.

Wentz, 26, missed all of last year’s OTAs and was a limited participant in training camp as he recovered from a torn ACL and LCL that forced him to miss the first two games of the 2018 season. 

This injury isn’t as serious and Pederson didn’t seem overly concerned that Wentz will miss as much time this spring and summer. 

“I don’t think it’ll [force] him to miss that much time,” Pederson said. “Because, obviously, he was rehabbing a knee and that was major. This is just a matter of making sure everything is right with him and his body and when he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go. Again, I’m optimistic that he won’t miss that much time.”

In early February, Wentz said his plan was to be ready for OTAs, so it seems like he’s still on that track. Although no one is going to rush him back on the field until he’s 100 percent. 

There’s a chance the Eagles could extend Wentz this offseason, but if they don’t, the 2019 season will be hugely important to his future. He has now ended the past two seasons on the shelf and the young franchise quarterback will try to prove that he can finally stay healthy. Even when he was on the field in 2018, Wentz admitted he wasn’t back to his former explosive self.  

The Eagles have several players who might miss spring workouts, although Pederson declined to get into specific names. Players like Fletcher Cox, Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Corey Clement and more are coming off of major injuries. 

Pederson stressed the importance of extra reps for younger players with the possible absences of injured veterans this spring. 

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you who because timetables change, healing times change,” Pederson said. “We’re taking each one case by case, day by day, week by week right now. Just want to get them all healthy and get them back when we can.”

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Julian Edelman extends DeSean Jackson invite to Holocaust Museum for 'uncomfortable conversations'

Julian Edelman extends DeSean Jackson invite to Holocaust Museum for 'uncomfortable conversations'

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman shared a video to his social media reacting to the “ugly things” DeSean Jackson shared to his Instagram earlier in the week.

Edelman is in a unique position to respond to Jackson because he is of Jewish faith. He is pushing for hard conversations over cancel culture.

“I’ve got nothing but respect for [DeSean’s] game,” Edelman begins. “I know he said some ugly things, but I do see an opportunity to have a conversation. I’m proud of my Jewish heritage and for me it’s not just about religion. It’s about community and culture as well.”

Edelman points out he identified as Jewish later in life and was often the target of anti-Semitic hate on the football field.

“Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest forms of racism. It’s rooted in ignorance and fear. There’s no room for anti-Semitism in this world. Even though we’re talking about anti-Semitism, I don’t want to distract from how important the Black Lives Matter movement is and how we need to stay behind it. I think the Black and Jewish communities have a lot of similarities. One unfortunate similarity is that they’re both attacked by the ignorant and the hateful.”

“What we need to do is, we need to listen, we need to learn, and we need to act. We need to have those uncomfortable conversations if we’re going to have real change. So to that end, let’s do a deal: how about we go to D.C. and I take you to the Holocaust Museum and then you take me to the Museum of African American History and Culture. Afterwards, we grab some burgers and we have those uncomfortable conversations."

You can watch Edelman's full comments here.

Others connected to the Eagles organization also responded. Emmanuel Acho and Joe Banner added to the conversation.

Acho, who has been a standout media member speaking out for Black Lives Matter, said that "ignorance is no longer an excuse. It may be an explanation but it is no longer an excuse."

"I don't think DeSean Jackson meant  to offend anybody," Acho said. "I don't think he was knowledgeable about exactly what he was doing, but the problem is, he still did it and that is unacceptable."

Acho also pointed to being tired of the cancel culture in our country.

You can see Banner's comments from Thursday morning below.

Eagles' Malik Jackson calls out NFL owners for 'unacceptable and disrespectful' behavior

Eagles' Malik Jackson calls out NFL owners for 'unacceptable and disrespectful' behavior

Eagles defensive lineman Malik Jackson posted a passionate message to his personal Instagram on Wednesday night, calling out NFL owners for what he feels is 'unacceptable and disrespectful' behavior as the league inches towards the 2020 regular season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Jackson, who signed a three-year deal with the Eagles last March, joined a growing group of players who are voicing their discomfort with fast-approaching training camp and preseason dates.

Here's Jackson's full message:

It is unacceptable and utterly disrespectful for the owners to have set a camp start date of July 28, 2020 with no safety/ financial guarantee agreed upon for us as players, the backbone of this industry. Today is July 8 and we have no answers to simple questions we’ve been asking since this pandemic started. We (players) are sons,fathers & brothers wanting to protect our families during this unprecedented time. As Pro-Athletes we are willing and able juggle. Juggle the risk that our careers bring, the stress of the game on our minds and bodies and most important making sure we don’t neglect our families. Now, you want us to weigh putting food on the table the best way we know how which we could potentially catching the killer virus and bring it home or starve.

I can not pass Rush from 6 feet away, I cannot defeat a double team from 6 feet away nor can I tackle somebody from 6 feet away (to not do those things in practice, just in games is asinine). This sport is not in any way able to be played 6 feet away, let alone stop the transfer of sweat and blood.

Respectfully, every owner is over 40 and understandable will probably not be out there with us on the field nor in the building. I ask in this moment you see us as people not financial burdens or roster spots. Health is wealth for both parties.

Jackson joined other Eagles teammates who expressed their concern about safety measures (and financial compensation) during the pending NFL season.

On Wednesday, Eagles cornerback Darius Slay responded to a report that indicated the NFL wanted players to take pay cuts during the 2020 season, putting up to 35% of their salary in escrow:

The league has already reportedly cut its preseason slate in half, pushing the start date back to accomodate players after an unorthodox offseason. This week, Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III tweeted that the preseason wouldn't be played at all:

It will be interesting to see if the NFL can avoid the public fighting MLB endured and play a 16-game season, or if the league is closing in on its own prolonged negotiation period and a similarly shortened season.

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles