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April 16, 2019

What they're saying: No reason to panic over Wentz's still-injured back

The Eagles quarterback was supposed to be ready by now, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Eagles NFL
121618CarsonWentz Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz

On Monday, the members of the Philadelphia Eagles descended upon the NovaCare Complex at Broad and Pattison for the first time since their season came to an end back in January. It was like, "the first day of school," as quarterback Carson Wentz pointed out.

Wentz was one of three Eagles players to take the podium on Day 1 — Jason Kelce and Zach Ertz were the others — and there were plenty of questions for the 26-year-old passer to answer, mostly about his health. After a season-ending ACL tear in 2017, Wentz's 2018 campaign was cut short due to a stress fracture in his back. Although Wentz remained on the active roster for the Eagles throughout the remainder of the season, he still finished the season on the bench.

"Knee injuries and rehab is aggressive and it's not fun for anybody," Wentz, who said he was taking things week-by-week, told the assembled media. "This back injury obviously is not fun either, but it's a different thing. The life whirlwind is a little different as well. I feel good with where I'm at... I am throwing some, running some and I feel good. There's really no timetable, no rush. I feel good with the progression." 

Wentz said his goal was to be ready by OTAs, but there's a chance he isn't. And that's where we'll start today's Eagles edition of What They're Saying... 

Patience is a virtue

Dr. David Chao | San Diego Union Tribune

When it was originally revealed that Wentz had been suffering from a stress fracture in his back, the recovery timeline of three months was given. Well, that three-month threshold passed in March, yet Wentz still says he isn't quite ready. 

But a former NFL doctor, Dr. David Chao, is here to calm fan panic, saying that this "shouldn't come as a shock" because "the lack of blood flow to this area ... makes healing more difficult than a typical traumatic fracture."

Furthermore, Chao points out that rushing Wentz back from an injury like this could lead to much bigger problems. 

[Note: That risk of further injury makes the Eagles' decision to keep Wentz on the 53-man roster through the end of the regular season and into the playoffs even more confusing.]

The fan base should not freak out if [Wentz isn't ready by the start of OTAs]. When dealing with a spondyolysis (back stress fracture) injury, it is better to be safe than sorry, as rushing it could lead to a permanent non-healing injury that could require surgery...

Indeed, waiting for a stress fracture to heal is slower than watching grass grow.

So it is not time for Eagles fans to panic. It simply remains something to watch.  [sandiegouniontribune.com]

Playing through it

Mike Kaye | NJ.com

Speaking of injured Eagles, Mike Kaye of NJ.com broke the news on Monday that running back Josh Adams was playing hurt down the stretch last year — not unlike center Jason Kelce — and underwent shoulder surgery after the season ended.

Eagles running back Josh Adams is expected to miss the start of the team’s offseason conditioning program as he recovers from shoulder surgery, a person with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media.

Adams underwent labrum surgery following the team’s divisional-round playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints in January, the individual said. Adams was given a six-month timetable for a return, so he should be able to participate in training camp in July.  [nj.com]

What to watch for

Glenn Erby | The Eagles Wire

Over at The Eagles Wire, they took a look at seven storylines to watch as offseason workouts get underway. Naturally, the starting quarterback is a big one worth following — and not just because of health.

The Status of Carson Wentz

The Eagles star quarterback no longer has Nick Foles looking over his shoulder, and that’s an immense pressure that Wentz will now have to deal with, as all the attention on the quarterback position will center on how he responds to two back-to-back seasons that have ended with injuries and watching the playoffs in street clothes. Wentz will ... now have to be the unquestioned leader of a group that looks Super Bowl ready.  [theeagleswire.usatoday.com]

Dressed to impress?

Eliot Shorr-Parks | 94 WIP

Which Eagles need to impress this offseason? That's exactly the question ESP set out to answer as the Birds conditioning program got underway on Monday, and one of the players listed is backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who re-signed with the Eagles earlier in the day.

The Eagles will reportedly try to bring in another QB to push Sudfeld during camp, but he's currently the Eagles No. 2, which as we've seen in recent years, is an important job behind Wentz.

Nate Sudfeld: The Eagles backup quarterback from the last two seasons has left, incase you didn’t hear. That leaves Nate Sudfeld as the frontrunner for the job right now, with the key phrase being “right now.” The Eagles are high on Sudfeld but he have also made it clear they want him to compete, whether that be with a veteran or a player they select in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Eagles would prefer that Sudfeld wins the job and makes them believe he can lead this team if Wentz goes down again. If he struggles, however, they could quickly decide to bring in a proven veteran that will end the competition and be Wentz’s backup over Sudfeld.  [94wip.radio.com]

Return of the Mack

Zack Rosenblatt | NJ.com

Over at NJ.com, Zack Rosenblatt took a similar approach to Eliot, examining six Eagles players who have the most to prove this offseason. He listed Wentz and Adams, but let's take a look at a different player whom we haven't mentioned yet in this post... 

2. WR Mack Hollins: It was a strange year for Hollins, to say the least. After the Super Bowl victory two seasons ago, he was viewed as a potential breakout candidate after showing flashes as a rookie. It helped that his college position coach (Gunter Brewer) was hired to coach receivers. Then, Hollins suffered a mysterious groin injury. He was supposed to be ready for Week 1 — according to him — but instead he was placed on injured reserve the day of the season-opener, and was mostly MIA for most of the season, at least publicly. He’s hold on a roster spot isn’t as secure as it was a year ago, and he has to prove that he hasn’t lost the luster that made the Eagles draft him in the fourth-round a couple years ago.  [nj.com]


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