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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