Eagles

Will Carson Wentz be ready for Week 1? ‘It’s going to be close’

Will Carson Wentz be ready for Week 1? ‘It’s going to be close’

It’s going to be close. 

That was the most telling part of Carson Wentz’s interview on WIP this morning before the final training camp practice of the summer. 

Wentz was asked by Angelo Cataldi how important it would be for him to start the season: 

I obviously would love to be out there. That’s been my goal all offseason ever since the injury. It’s going to be close. It’s going to be close. I’m still eyeing that date. At the end of the day, it’s not just my decision. There’s coaches and doctors that really have the final say. I really like where I’m at and time will tell here. 

Of course, we all probably knew it was going to be close, but here’s Wentz saying it just 3 1/2 weeks before the opener against the Falcons. 

Wentz began training camp a few weeks ago working in full-team 11-on-11 drills, but the Eagles have backed off of him some since then. He’s done just 7-on-7s for most of training camp. Head coach Doug Pederson said they saw enough from Wentz in those early sessions and didn’t want to risk further injury. Pederson claimed there was no setback. 

While Wentz hasn’t been in full-team drills, his footwork and arm strength have been on display during individual drills and in 7-on-7s. 

“My knee feels really good,” Wentz said. “Rehab and everything has been going great. Every day it feels a little better out there. I really like where I’m at so it’s just a be patient thing.”

When asked just how tough ACL rehab is, Wentz flatly said, “It’s no fun.” There was a lot of pain early in the process but going through rehab with some big-name players like Jason Peters, Chris Maragos, Darren Sproles and Jordan Hicks helped. 

It’s still pretty amazing that the Eagles were able to win a Super Bowl without all those guys playing by the end of the season. 

Cataldi described the grim scene on his flight back to Philly from Los Angeles after Wentz went down at the LA Coliseum on Dec. 10. He told Wentz that everyone thought the season was over. 

And then he asked Wentz if what happened after amazed him.  

“I wouldn’t say it amazed me,” Wentz said, emphasizing the word amazed. “It was kind of expected. It’s one of those things to the outside, it seemed like the world was ending and we didn’t have a shot. That’s when people started to write us off, but we knew what we had. We knew the guys we had. We knew we had Nick, who would be more than ready to go. Obviously, he stepped in and not only finished that game the right way and got it done for us but obviously finished the year unbelievable. I wouldn’t say it surprised any of us at all. But probably to the world, it did.”

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Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Four years ago, when Rodney McLeod became a free agent for the first time in his NFL career, one of the reasons he wanted to join the Eagles was for the chance to play next to Malcolm Jenkins. 

And for the last four years, he did. The two formed a safety tandem that played 49 regular season games and four playoff games, including Super Bowl LII, together. 

But now Jenkins is back in New Orleans with the Saints and the Eagles are preparing to play without him for the first time since 2013. Meanwhile, McLeod signed a two-year deal to return to Philly. 

On a conference call with reporters on Thursday, McLeod said he learned a lot from Jenkins over the past four seasons. 

What were some of those lessons? 

Just as a competitor,” McLeod said. “And then the ability to get the most out of guys, whether it’s on the defensive side or from an entire team standpoint. I think as a leader, that’s your kind of job. How can you get guys to play at the highest level and get the most out of your players. I think he was one of the best at doing that and understanding everyone … I learned a lot from him. 

“Not just on the field but off the field, the way he handled himself and what he did in the community for the city. I’ll always admire him. It’s hard to match. But like I said, his legacy will live on. The Saints are getting a good guy. Now, us as Eagles, playing with a new group of guys and we’re ready to move forward.

There’s no question that the Eagles are going to miss Jenkins’ contributions on the field. They will use some combination of Jalen Mills and Will Parks to replace him at that position and that won’t be easy. 

But the Eagles will also miss the leadership Jenkins brought to the locker room. He wasn’t just the leader of the secondary or even just the defense; Jenkins was oftentimes the key leader for the entire team. That’s hard to replace too. 

It’s not that McLeod, 29, hasn’t been a leader during his first four years in Philly. But now that role might need to expand and will become more important with the absence of Jenkins. 

“I think it’s important for me to be myself and be who I’ve always been,” McLeod said. “And that’s a guy that leads by his actions and leads by example. I think if you ask a lot of guys on the team, that’s what they’ll tell you most. Actions sometimes speak louder than words. I think there will be times for me to speak up when needed. When my teammates need me most, I’ll be ready to do that.”

For the most part, McLeod has been the quieter of the two safeties and Jim Schwartz has previously called him the calming presence in the defensive backfield.

But McLeod can speak up too. 

It’s really just about finding a balance between his two sides and putting the lessons from Jenkins into practice in 2020. 

“Myself, being a leader on this team for some time, will of course be asked to step up as well as other guys from a defensive standpoint and on the team,” McLeod said. “I think we’re prepared for that. And guys will be willing to step up to the plate and accept the challenge. Myself first and foremost.”

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Carson Wentz’s 3rd annual AO1 softball game canceled

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AO1 Foundation

Carson Wentz’s 3rd annual AO1 softball game canceled

Carson Wentz’s AO1 Foundation has canceled its 2020 softball game that was scheduled for May 8 at Citizens Bank Park. 

The foundation says the game will return in 2021. 

The AO1 Foundation said the following in a statement: 

“We canceled the game because we are taking the COVID-19 situation very seriously. We were looking forward to an event that brings the Philadelphia community together to have fun and help others, but the health and safety of our supporters is of utmost importance to us.”

All purchased tickets will be refunded. Expect it to take 5-7 business days for that credit to appear in accounts. If there are questions about the refund process, the AO1 Foundation asks you contact the Phillies at tickets@phillies.com. 

In the first two years, this softball game has raised $1.35 million for the AO1 Foundation, which launched in 2017. Last May, there were 15,000 fans at Citizens Bank Park. 

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