Carson Wentz named Eagles starting quarterback for Week 1

Carson Wentz named Eagles starting quarterback for Week 1

The Carson Wentz era is underway.
Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in the spring, will start the season opener on Sunday, according to head coach Doug Pederson.
This news comes days after the team traded away incumbent starter Sam Bradford to the Vikings on Saturday.
“Obviously we made this decision and I spent over the weekend with my offensive staff, with Frank (Reich) with (John) DeFilippo and really the whole staff,” Pederson said.
“And everybody feels this kid is ready to go. We drafted him to take the reigns and it’s something now that we’re prepared to do and looking forward to Cleveland.”
Wentz is completely healthy after suffering broken ribs and worked with the first team in practice on Monday. It was the first time Wentz has taken first-team reps since joining the Eagles, but Pederson said he’s worked with all the receivers and has taken snaps from starting center Jason Kelce.
Because of the injury, Wentz played in just one preseason game -- the opener -- this summer. Wentz was on the field for 39 snaps against the Bucs. He completed 12 of 24 passing attempts for 89 yards and an interception. He also ran three times for 15 yards. 
The limited action doesn’t worry Pederson.
“The fact that I had a chance to go watch him and work him out in the spring, meet the kid, a mature individual,” Pederson said. “What he did in all OTAs, what he’s done around this building, the plays he’s made in practice, in the one preseason game, has given me confidence that he can lead this football team. And I’m excited. I’m thrilled that this is an opportunity for him, it’s an opportunity for our organization and our team. We’re going full-steam ahead. I feel fully confident that we’ll be able to get the job done.”
The head coach said the ideal situation would probably be to have Wentz sit for a while, but he thinks this team has the right pieces in place to help Wentz be successful. Pederson said the other players in the locker room are excited for Wentz and were OK with the move.
Despite the obvious notion that Wentz being the starter instead of Bradford might hurt the team in the short-term, Pederson said the expectations for the season don’t change – “not at all,” he said. In fact, Pederson said he challenged the team on Monday morning.
Chase Daniel, who had been the backup is disappointed that Wentz leapfrogged him, but Pederson understands. And the head coach then called Daniel the “ultimate team guy.” Daniel will remain the backup as the team has just two quarterbacks on the roster.
What has Wentz done to impress de facto general manager Howie Roseman, at least enough to pull off a blockbuster on Saturday?
"It starts with his attention to detail; the way he goes about his business," Roseman said. "But at the same time, we rely on the people who are around him all the time. That starts with our head coach and it goes to our offensive coordinator and our quarterbacks coach. They’re in the meeting rooms; they’re with him on the field when our other quarterbacks are playing; they’re in his ear when he’s practicing; they go through the thought process with him; and they’ve been around some great ones. 
"We’re fortunate to have those guys, along with our entire coaching staff, and we rely on what they’re hearing and seeing as well. But certainly our interaction with him and our discussions with him, he’s come a long way, even since we got him in April."

Report: Jordan Howard expected to miss Eagles-Patriots Week 11 game with injury

Report: Jordan Howard expected to miss Eagles-Patriots Week 11 game with injury

Eagles leading rusher Jordan Howard is not expected to play Sunday as he deals with a shoulder injury, according to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The Eagles have officially listed Howard as questionable for the team's Super Bowl rematch Sunday afternoon against the Patriots at the Linc.

Howard suffered a stinger in the Eagles’ win on Nov. 3 against the Bears, his former team.

That means Jay Ajayi, who the Eagles re-signed on Friday, should be active for the first time in over a year and will likely have a role.

Howard, in his first year with the Eagles, has 525 rushing yards, a 4.4 average and seven touchdowns, including one receiving. 

Since Week 4, Howard has been the 13th-leading rusher in the NFL, averaging 71 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry.

Howard was limited in practice during the week and head coach Doug Pederson said Friday he had not been cleared for contact, which left him with a remote chance to be active on Sunday.

Howard has never missed a game because of injury. He didn’t play in the Bears' 2016 opener against the Texans — opening day of his rookie year — but he did dress for the game and was active, he just didn’t get onto the field.

Since then, he’s played in 57 of a possible 57 games.

Howard has the second-most rushing yards in the NFL since 2016 behind only Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys.

The Eagles are already down two running backs. Super Bowl hero Corey Clement is on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury and Darren Sproles joined him on Injured Reserve this week with a season-ending quad injury.

The Eagles will go into Sunday with Miles Sanders, Ajayi and Boston Scott. They also have a rookie, De’Angelo Henderson, on the practice squad.

Sanders, after a slow start, is averaging 4.4 yards per carry on 76 for 336 and has 22 catches for 305 yards.

Ajayi, acquired by the Eagles from the Dolphins midway through the 2017 Super Bowl season, hasn’t played since injuring his knee in a game against the Vikings on Oct. 7 of last year.

Ajayi has battled knee injuries most of his career but his 4.5 career average is fifth best in the NFL since 2015 among running backs with at least 500 carries.

Scott has 16 carries for 68 yards, a 4.3 average in limited duty.

The Eagles have averaged 141 rushing yards in their last six games. The Patriots are allowing an NFL-worst 5.6 yards per carry over their last six games.

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Eagles send high-ranking official to Colin Kaepernick’s workout

Eagles send high-ranking official to Colin Kaepernick’s workout

According to those who attended Colin Kaepernick’s workout in Atlanta on Saturday, the Eagles were well represented.

The Eagles could have sent a regional or a low level scout to watch Kaepernick, but instead, they sent vice president of football operations Andrew Berry, which seems noteworthy.

On Friday, head coach Doug Pederson was asked if the Eagles would be in attendance at the workout.

“I would assume that we would,” Pederson said. “Obviously for us, we're in season so I can't be there. I’m comfortable with the guys we have, but I'm assuming that we would have somebody there.”

Pederson might be comfortable with the quarterbacks the Eagles have now, but it makes sense that the Eagles would at least take a look at Kaepernick. While Carson Wentz will be in Philly for a long time, his backups — Josh McCown and Nate Sudfeld — are both set to be unrestricted free agents after this season is up.

McCown will be 41 at the beginning of the 2020 season and Sudfeld has attempted just 25 career passes. The Eagles also have Kyle Lauletta on their practice squad.

Philadelphia, more than any other NFL city, should realize how important the backup quarterback position can be. Sure, maybe Kaepernick gets a crack at a starting job, but after three years out of the league, that’s certainly not a given. And the Eagles, with their progressive owner, might just be willing to sign Kaepernick despite potential backlash. Or maybe this leads nowhere.

Despite a last-minute move to a location 60 miles away from the Falcons’ facility, Berry and a few representatives from other NFL teams still made it to the workout.

The whole workout on Saturday was seemingly thrown together hastily and was organized by two sides that clearly have a contentious relationship. There were plenty of issues between them, including ones about the liability waiver, media availability and video footage. The move happened 15 minutes before the workout was scheduled to happen.

After the workout, Kaepernick explained why the move happened:

The NFL on Saturday released a statement saying it was “disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout.” He didn’t appear for the workout at the Falcons’ facility, but the 32-year-old quarterback did appear at the high school sight in Georgia and apparently looked good.

The Eagles pride themselves on searching everywhere for talent and evaluating all options. Kaepernick is certainly an option. Of course, there’s a lot more to the Kaepernick story than a former Pro Bowl quarterback looking for a new team. The NFL in February settled a collusion grievance with Kaepernick and his former teammate Eric Reid. And Kaepernick hasn’t played since 2016, claiming collusion after he began a series of protests over social and racial injustice in the United States. He famously kneeled during the national anthem before games.

It’ll be interesting to see if this workout leads anywhere for Kaepernick or if the Eagles would actually pursue him. For the rest of this season, the Eagles are in a good spot when it comes to the quarterback position, but when this year is over, it’s more questionable. That’s probably why they looked at Kaepernick today.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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