June 08, 2018
The Philadelphia Eagles wrapped up OTAs on Thursday afternoon, and they'll have a three-day minicamp next week before they break for the summer. The early focus of spring practices, from a media perspective, has been on Carson Wentz (duh), who is recovering from ACL and LCL tears in his left knee.
In the first full-team, media-attended practice of the spring on May 22, the overwhelming consensus of all media observers in attendance was that Wentz was able to do more than anticipated. Videos taken of Wentz dominated "Eagles social media" that day, and rightfully so, as it was the first time fans got to see Wentz doing football things on a football field ever since he sustained his injury in Los Angeles in December of last year.
That same day, Dr. David Chao, a former head NFL team doctor for more than 17 years who also happened to perform the surgery on Darren Sproles' ACL tear last season, wrote about Wentz's progress after viewing those video from afar.
Wentz is making excellent progress, but the injury is not behind him.
His participation was in an individual period only, and he took a spot on the sideline for team drills, as should have been expected.
As we analyze some of the limited video, he does move well but he never fully extends his knee, does not fully transfer weight or step into throws. He also occasionally crow hops before throws, as shown in multiple videos here.
He demonstrates considerable arm strength by making the throws without help from his lower body. That works fine in drills, but he will need more for game situations.
Of course, running and cutting is the other part of his game.We have said from the beginning that a Week One return as a pocket passer is possible/probable but that Wentz will not be his usual self and a running threat until the middle of (or even late in) the season.
Wentz looks great. He is on track, but he is far from there yet.
Since May 22, Wentz has made even more noticeable improvements, as you'll see in the video below. As Dr. Chao correctly noted, Wentz did not fully extend his plant foot or really step into his throws in the May 22 practice, but you can see significant improvement over the span of 16 days in that regard in the June 6 and June 7 practices. Take a look.
Of course, there's been no real cutting when Wentz runs, though he did take his brace off near the end of the June 6 practice and sprinted in a straight line on the sidelines as the rest of the team conducted 11-on-11 drills.
The Eagles' three-day minicamp begins next Tuesday and will wrap up on Thursday. We'll continue to monitor Wentz's progress.
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