Carson Wentz has been cleared for contact and will start in Week 3 against the Colts.
The Eagles’ offense will get a huge boost from having their MVP candidate back in action.
Wentz, 25, missed the first two games of the 2018 season while still recovering from that torn ACL and LCL he suffered Dec. 10 in Los Angeles. It was a long and arduous rehab process, but Wentz attacked it. His original goal was to play in Week 1, but he wasn’t yet cleared. Head coach Doug Pederson said once Wentz was cleared, there was no decision to be made. "We drafted him to be our guy," Pederson said.
Wentz seems pretty thrilled about getting back.
"He's excited. He's ready," Pederson said. "In his mind, he was probably ready a month ago."
All along, the Eagles made it very clear that they were always going back to Wentz. That wasn’t going to change even if Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles lit it up to start this season. Wentz is the franchise quarterback. The Eagles see a longterm future with him, which is why they’ve been so cautious about his return.
Back in training camp, Wentz looked really good and competed in 11-on-11 drills early before the Eagles held him out for a few weeks. In the weeks leading up to the season, until that final game week, Wentz and Foles were splitting practice reps 50-50. Whichever quarterback is starting that week really needs the full complement of reps going into a game. So the Eagles have had a little bit of a challenge keeping Wentz read while Foles has played. Wentz has been running the scout team.
In the first two games of the 2018 season, Foles has led the Eagles to a 1-1 record. He has completed 65.9 percent of his passes for 651 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His stats on Sunday against the Bucs looked much better than he played.
While Foles will always be a hero in Philadelphia for quarterbacking the Eagles during the Super Bowl run, he just isn’t as talented as Wentz. He can’t do the same things.
Carson Wentz is back!— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 17, 2018
He will be the starting QB for Sunday's game against the Colts. pic.twitter.com/ygcSye873a
Foles, on Sunday after the loss, said he’s prepared to do anything the coaching staff asks. That means he’ll happily start the rest of the season or stand on the sideline and cheer on Wentz. The two have a close relationship and friendship, which has made this unique situation tenable.
It is worth wondering what kind of player Wentz will be in his first game back. He hasn’t played in a game in a long time.
“We can’t expect [Wentz] to just put his Superman cape on and be his old self,” Zach Ertz said on Sunday night. “He’s going to be rusty. But we got a lot of good players on this team.”