Eagles ‘optimistic’ Carson Wentz will be ready for OTAs

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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.”

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More on the Eagles

Ominous injury news for Alshon Jeffery

Ominous injury news for Alshon Jeffery

Updated: 4:20 p.m.

The Eagles’ wide receiving corps, already in shambles, is now without Alshon Jeffery, who reportedly suffered a season-ending injury in the win over the Giants Monday night.

The oft-injured Jeffery was carted off the field after suffering a non-contact injury in the ankle or Achilles area early in the second quarter.

Head coach Doug Pederson declined to specify exactly what the injury is at his day-after presser, but he did say it’s “more significant” than a week-to-week injury. At this point in the season, it's no surprise that this is a season-ending injury for the 29-year-old Jeffery.

Pederson said he was waiting for more test results later Monday before saying anything more definitive, but it didn't sound good.

He did allow that, “We have to do a course of action, a plan, with him here pretty soon probably,” which presumably means placing Jeffery on Injured Reserve and figuring out how to replace him.

Jeffery's season ends after he played just 10 games. He finished with 43 catches for 490 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

Complicating matters is the continued absence of Nelson Agholor, the Eagles’ other starting wide receiver. He missed the Giants game with a knee injury he suffered in the Dolphins game a week ago, and Pederson said there’s no guarantee he’ll be ready to play against the Redskins.

“That one’s still up in the air,” he said. “We’ve just got to continue to work through his injury and where he’s at and continue to have conversations with him and see where he is prior to this week.”

With Jeffery out and Agholor’s status unknown, the Eagles have just two healthy wide receivers — J.J. Arcega Whiteside and Greg Ward, who have 19 combined career catches. Tight end Josh Perkins, who can also play in the slot, has 13 career receptions.

Things got so bad Sunday the Eagles were preparing backup quarterback Josh McCown to play wide receiver when Arega-Whiteside left the game. McCown played some receiver with the Lions in 2006. He’s now 40.

Most likely, the Eagles will add one and perhaps two wide receivers this week. Marken Michel, Marcus Green and Robert Davis are on the practice squad, and Jordan Matthews is always on Howie Roseman’s speed dial.

This late in the season it's difficult to bring in somebody from outside who hasn't been in this offense either in training camp or during the season.

“We definitely have a couple guys on practice squad if we have to make a move,” Pederson said. “Obviously, we could look outside the building if we need to. But we’re going to work through that today and try to get something in place here pretty quick. We’re back on the field (Tuesday).”

Jeffery has been in and out of the lineup with injuries for much of the last two years. The one-time Bears Pro Bowler had only 43 catches for 490 yards and four TDs in 10 games this year.

Pederson said right tackle Lane Johnson is week-to-week with a sprained ankle. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who finished the game Monday night at right tackle, will start against the Redskins Sunday. Pederson didn’t have a timetable on Johnson’s possible return.

The rest of the injury news was a little more positive.

Rookies Arcega-Whiteside and Miles Sanders, who both missed snaps Monday night, are “fine,” according to Pederson.

Cornerback Jalen Mills, who hurt his elbow, “should be OK,” Pederson said: “The only thing you’ll see probably is a brace on his elbow. Other than that he’s good.”

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Carson Wentz reveals his baby’s gender in classic Carson Wentz style

Carson Wentz reveals his baby’s gender in classic Carson Wentz style

Did we expect anything less from Carson Wentz?

If you haven’t been following our beloved quarterback’s personal life, Carson Wentz and his wife Madison announced on Thanksgiving morning that they are expecting their first child. 

On Tuesday, Wentz posted an Instagram video from their gender reveal party, where the couple found out the sex of their baby in the most Wentz way possible — by throwing a football full of colored powder into the air and skeet shooting it down to reveal the colored powder.

The football doesn’t lie. It’s a girl! 

Baby Girl Wentz is due this spring and we can’t wait. Let’s begin the name guessing now.