Eagles Ready for Carson Wentz Return by Frederick Blue
The Philadelphia Eagles last week unveiled their Super Bowl Championship rings and it was quite the event. They even gave a ring to their former executive secretary who was fired by Chip Kelly two years ago. It was a class act by the organization and owner Jeffrey Lurie and represents a microcosm of the type of culture the Eagles have established as one of the most exceptional, well-run organizations in the NFL. It seems like ages ago on that fateful Sunday in Los Angeles when Carson Wentz’s season came to an end. But it was December 10th of last year when Wentz threw for 4 touchdowns in a 43-35 Eagles win. One of those touchdowns came after he tore his ACL/MCL on the previous play. Fast forward six months later to the most recent OTA (mandatory) and Wentz has done more than previously expected, included a stellar performance in 7 on 7s in which he threw 3 touchdowns in red zone drills and was able to move around in the pocket as if he never missed a beat.
Granted, it typically takes a good twelve months for players to return from ACL injuries unless you’re an other-worldly athlete like Adrian Peterson, but Wentz has shown the determination and drive to get back on the field by the September 6th opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Yes, he and Coach Doug Pederson will say all the right things and the Eagles will indeed proceed with caution as it applies to Wentz’s recovery. But there is no doubt that what motivates Carson Wentz is the fact that he missed the playoff and Super Bowl run, having no influence in the outcome other than indirectly. The Eagles knew when they interviewed Wentz leading up to the 2016 draft that he was a fierce competitor and student of the game of football. Although coming from a Division 1-AA program, this guy in the eyes of most scouts was the real deal. No more was that a reality than in his sophomore season when Wentz threw for 33 touchdowns with only 7 interceptions and was the front-runner for MVP prior to the injury. The Eagles are a prohibited favorite to win the NFC East and the NFC and possibly repeat as Super Bowl Champions. That’s a feat that has not been accomplished since the 2003-2004 Dallas Cowboys. They return injured starters (aside from Wentz) Jason Peters, Jordan Hicks and multi-purpose back Darren Sproles. They have also added Michael Bennett via trade with the Seahawks and also drafted a top-flight tight-end in Dallas Goedardt who will compliment a balanced passing attack led by Pro-Bowl Tight-End Zach Ertz. The Eagles are poised to have an extended playoff run this upcoming season, and Wentz will have a lot to say on whether that results in another ring unveiling ceremony in 2019.