Eagles

A look back at Carson Wentz’s 9-month road to recovery

A look back at Carson Wentz’s 9-month road to recovery

We’ve all been waiting for a long time to see Carson Wentz take the field again and it’s finally happening. 

The Eagles’ franchise quarterback will start his first game in over nine months on Sunday, when the Eagles host the Colts in Week 3. 

How much time will have passed between starts for Wentz? 

• 288 days

• or 41 weeks and a day 

• or 6,912 hours

• or 414,695 minutes  

• or 24,881,700 seconds 

Any way you slice it, it’s been a long time coming. The Eagles are thrilled to get their starting quarterback back in Week 3, but let’s take a look back at all the milestones of his recovery: 

•••

Dec. 10 — In the third quarter against the Rams, Wentz tears his ACL and LCL trying to dive into the end zone. He stays in the game and delivers a touchdown throw to Alshon Jeffery on the next play, but then exits. The Eagles win the game and clinch the NFC East, but it didn’t feel like it. Doug Pederson announces the next morning that Wentz is done for the season after tearing his ACL.

Dec. 13 — A few days later, Pittsburgh-based Dr. James Bradley performs surgery to repair Wentz’s ACL and LCL, but we only know about the ACL at this point. Still loopy from the anesthesia from surgery, Wentz uses FaceTime to talk to his fellow QBs back at the NovaCare Complex. 

Dec. 16 — His season is over, but Wentz gets named to his first Pro Bowl.

Dec. 18 — They couldn’t keep him away. He’s still more than nine months away from playing, but Wentz is back in the meeting room.

Jan. 23 — The Eagles win the NFC Championship Game and they use a play Wentz brought with him from North Dakota State.

Jan. 26 — Wentz shows up without a cane at Eagles practice. Later in the day, he reveals he also tore his LCL, but says his goal is to return for Week 1.

Feb. 4 — The Eagles win Super Bowl LII and Nick Foles is named MVP. 

March 27 — At the owners' meetings in Orlando, Florida, Pederson is “very pleased” with  Wentz’s rehab, but won’t give a timetable for return.

April 17 — Wentz says he’s “happy” with his progress and has begun the “running progression” portion of rehab.

May 22 — Surprise! Wentz participates in Eagles OTAs. He’s not a full participant, but he does individual drills for the first time since the surgery.

June 6 — During the last round of voluntary OTAs, Wentz begins takes 7-on-7 reps.

June 14 — As players break for the summer, Wentz says he’ll be around the facility to focus on his rehab. Like Sixers superstar Joel Embiid, Wentz says he’s trusting the process.

July 15 — Wedding day! Wentz marries girlfriend Maddie Oberg, whom he credits for helping him a ton and standing by his side during rehab.

July 26 — On the first practice of training camp, Wentz participates in 11-on-11 drills for the first time since the surgery.

July 27 — On the second day of training camp, Wentz works with the first-team offense in 7-on-7s.

July 28 — On the third day of training camp, Wentz works with the first-team offense in 11-on-11s, the closest thing that comes to game action in practice. There’s one hold-your-breath moment, where a defensive tackle brushed against Wentz’s left leg, but he’s fine.

July 29 — The Eagles and Pederson hold Wentz out of 11-on-11 drills. It’s a part of the secretive plan, according to the head coach. 

Aug. 14 — After saying all along that his goal was to be ready for Week 1, Wentz says “it’s going to be close.”

Aug. 19 — After a few weeks of being held out of team drills, Wentz returns to 11-on-11s.

Aug. 23 — Before the third preseason game in Cleveland, Wentz put in a long and tough workout in pregame. It’s reminiscent of his workout before the third preseason game in 2016.

Aug. 31 — Wentz’s surgeon, speaking to NBC Sports Philadelphia, urges caution.

Sept. 3 — Foles is named the Eagles’ Week 1 starter. Despite the disappointment, Wentz keeps an upbeat attitude during the week.

Sept. 17 — Pederson announces that Wentz has been cleared for contact (the final hurdle) and will start against the Colts in Week 3.

Sept. 23 — Week 3 against the Colts at Lincoln Financial Field. Wentz’s first action of the 2018 season. 

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Eagles reportedly have a new secondary coach

Eagles reportedly have a new secondary coach

Marquand Manuel is the Eagles’ new secondary coach, according to a tweet by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

The 40-year-old Manuel replaces Cory Undlin, who had served in that role since 2015, first under Chip Kelly and the last four years under Doug Pederson. Undlin was named Lions defensive coordinator two weeks ago.

Manuel and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz go back a ways. Manuel played for the Lions in 2009 when Schwartz was their head coach.

Manuel was not in the NFL this past year. He spent the previous four years under Dan Quinn with the Falcons, two years as secondary coach and two years as defensive coordinator before getting fired following the 2018 season.

The Falcons reached the Super Bowl in his second year in Atlanta, losing to the Patriots in Houston.

Before Atlanta, Manuel spent three years working under Quinn with the Seahawks, holding a variety of titles on the defensive staff.

Manuel, who played for Steve Spurrier at Florida, was the Bengals’ 6th-round pick in 2002 and spent eight years as a safety in the NFL with six different teams — the Bengals, Seahawks, Packers, Panthers, Broncos and Lions.

He played in 116 games, starting 58, with two interceptions and a pick-6 while he was with the Packers in 2006 off Jon Kitna of the Lions.

The Eagles also reportedly interviewed Browns defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker for the position.

The Eagles already have a safeties coach on the staff, former Eagle Tim Hauck. He was Pederson's teammate with the Eagles in 1999 and has been on Pederson's staff since 2016.

Quinn had this to say about Manuel on the Falcons’ web site back in 2018:

From the time I've met him from now, one thing that's cool to see that has stayed consistent is the energy and enthusiasm he has for players. He made the transition from player to coach really seamlessly because he knew the boundaries of coach, but he also stepped across to say, I can push you. That's not easy to do. He's always had mental quickness of a quarterback or someone who gets concepts really quickly. That transferred into this coaching fast. He can communicate concepts and ideas quickly to people on the run, in the moment, that's a really valuable asset as a coach.

The Eagles still have openings to replace the three assistant coaches Doug Pederson fired: offensive coordinator Mike Groh, wide receivers coach Carson Walch and defensive line coach Phillip Daniels.

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Eagles might lose executive Andrew Berry after all

Eagles might lose executive Andrew Berry after all

Just a few days ago, it seemed like the Eagles weren’t going to lose Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry because it looked like the Browns were going to hire someone else.

Well, that someone else has dropped out of the race.

Vikings assistant GM George Paton has taken himself out of the running to be the Browns’ next general manager, which means Berry is now the new favorite, according to Cleveland.com

This is certainly an interesting turn of events.

According to Cleveland.com, “Paton was reluctant to accept the initial interview because he assumed the job would go Berry.”

Now it might.

It would have made plenty of sense for the Browns to hire Paton, who has a long-standing relationship with new head coach Kevin Stefanski from their time together in Minnesota. But according to reports over the past few weeks, it seems like Berry has been a favorite of ownership and the front office.

While Berry and Stefanski have never worked together, they did get to know each other during the coaching search in Cleveland a year ago. After that search, the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens and Berry left for Philly. But now, Berry and Stefanski might actually get a chance to work with one another.

The Harvard-educated Berry, 32, was with the Browns from 2016-18 as their Vice President of Player Personnel before he joined the Eagles last season in a role they created for him. Berry initially came up in the Colts franchise, first as a scouting assistant and finally as a pro scouting coordinator. He’s been a quick-riser in the NFL world.

Earlier this offseason, the Eagles reportedly denied a request from the Panthers to interview Berry for a Vice President job. The reasoning from the Eagles was that it wasn’t a general manager position and he wouldn’t have had final say on personnel matters.

Final say is something Berry will likely never have here in Philadelphia. Despite a few missteps in recent years, Howie Roseman has pretty solid job security and he isn’t going anywhere. If Berry is going to become a GM, it’s going to be in another city. And it seems like that day might be coming soon.

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